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Blog: Day #92 - Medicare Ensures We Take Care of Our Own


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100 Reasons, Day #92: Medicare Ensures We Take Care of Our Own

Today's reason to support my election is an issue especially close to my heart as a geriatric nurse. That issue is the protection of Medicare. Medicare is extremely important to the people of District 13 because it ensures health coverage to people over the age of 65 as well as physically disabled Americans, irrespective of age. According to data collected by AARP, 16% of the nation's population or over 50 million Americans rely on Medicare for health coverage and it serves as a safety net for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Half of all Medicare beneficiaries live well below the poverty level and 40% of them have 3 or more chronic conditions and without Medicare, many health care needs would go unmet.

Older and disabled Americans rely heavily on Medicare and it must be protected for future generations. The journey toward making Medicare more solvent has already begun with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, in part through cost savings from concerted efforts to reign in Medicare fraud and abuse. As of 2013, working alongside the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice Medicare Strike Force had charged 1,500 people with fraud amounting to more than $5 billion. But these days we must make sure we protect Medicare not just from fraudsters but politicians who seek to do harm to this essential program.

If you support protecting and sustaining Medicare by reigning in unnecessary costs while improving benefits for the Medicare population, it provides another important reason to vote Cleary for Congress. George Holding voted in favor of the 2013 Ryan Budget that proposed cuts to Medicare of $356 billion and probably even worse over the long term, included efforts to privatize it. Mr. Holding has also consistently voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act which is increasing the quality of Medicare while boosting its fiscal sustainability.

100 Stories, Day #92 -- Medicare Allows for Financial Security in Retirement

I know of a loving married couple that have worked hard all their lives and have taken personal responsibility for their own health by staying fit through exercise and a healthy diet.

When John lost the employer heath insurance that had covered both him and his wife Carolyn, he was Medicare eligible but she was not yet 65. Being the responsible people that they are, Carolyn enrolled in an insurance plan of her own but could only afford a policy with a big deductible (this was before the passage of the Affordable Care Act and thus before the option of the state and federal healthcare marketplace).

As we age, even the healthiest among us can experience unexpected health conditions that can quickly become very expensive. This couple who had lived frugally all their lives suddenly had to dig deep into their savings during the year and a half that Carolyn was not yet eligible for Medicare. Most older women don't get enthused about birthdays, but Carolyn actually counted down to her 65th birthday when she and John could regain some financial security in retirement. John and Carolyn's story reflects how important Medicare is to Americans in relation to retirement security.

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