LETTER: Health care reform needed for seniors

Friday, September 4, 2009 | 1:28 p.m. CDT; updated 2:23 p.m. CDT, Friday, September 4, 2009

I live in Columbia, and I am a senior citizen. I believe that all of us need health care reform. What we have now in the U.S. is a system where insurance companies not only stand between a patient and his or her doctor, but also ration health care, refuse to insure people with preexisting conditions, and cancel people who develop a medical problem that is expensive.

Health care reform will do away with these monstrous policies. And we have a government plan called Medicare which is appreciated by all who benefit from it. It is much less expensive to administer than the insurance company plans, but it is now in need of some cost cutting in order to keep it viable for future generations. One of the proposals of the health care reform plans working their way through Congress is to eliminate billions in giveaways via the Medicare Advantage program that boosts insurance company profits without helping seniors. Another cost cutting proposal is to pay doctors and hospitals based on the care they provide instead of the number of procedures they perform, and it focuses on prevention and wellness to help accomplish that. Health care reform will also close the doughnut hole in Medicare Part D and eliminate co-pays for preventive care. This will save us seniors money. No matter what lies you have heard in the media, nowhere in the legislation is there talk of cutting Medicare benefits. Check it out!

Our Medicare system is working wonderfully well even though it is run by the government. Where did people get the idea that the government can't do anything right? Do you truly believe the insurance companies have your welfare at heart? Your welfare is what Medicare is all about. All other industrialized countries know this and profit at the very least in part from efficient and effective government-run health care programs. Think about it.

Do they know something we don't? We all need to be our own advocates and not be swayed by the propaganda and self-interest of insurance companies and their lobbyists. I fully support health care reform and know that Medicare will be strengthened by it.


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