Letter to the Editor

I would like to try to explain a little about how Medicare works. As a senior citizen who receives Medicare I can say that our lawmakers who are trying to sell “Medicare for All” are fooling the public. 

Right now Medicare costs a senior citizen from $135 to $325 per month. This is deducted from our Social Security checks each month, it is not free. If you have worked all of your adult life as I did, and paid thousands of dollars in federal taxes into the Medicare and Social Security fund, it should be free, but it’s not. 

Medicare does not pay for prescriptions, vision, dental, longterm care or hearing. You pay a 20% co-insurance, deductibles and co-pays, which vary depending on the doctor or procedure. Medicare has what they call an “approved amount” for paying doctors, which varies, so they pay about $20 per $100 charged by doctors, and you pay the balance. Again, it is not free and that is why a supplemental insurance policy is needed.  Medicare Advantage plans are not inexpensive. 

There is not a doctor in Clark County that will accept Medicare alone without a supplemental insurance policy because Medicare alone does not pay them enough to stay in practice. We will lose good doctors in droves. New doctors won’t make much more above minimum wage. Who then would go to a school for 11 years after high school and pay a quarter of a million dollars for tuition, for a small income? This will deter brilliant young people from becoming physicians.

I want everyone to know that seniors pay about 25% of their Social Security income for medical, prescriptions and co-pays. The average Social Security wage is $1,200 per month so this idea of “Medicare for All,” without any supplemental insurance would be an absolute disaster for millions. Medicare alone would break anyone financially if they had to pay 80% of their medical costs, not to mention the increase of your federal taxes. Your taxes would have an increase of at least 40% or more, just to cover medicare taxes alone, plus Social Security taxes, then out of pocket costs for what Medicare will not cover — which will be enormous. Medicare will not be free — nothing is free. 

I absolutely agree that something has to be done about the high costs of medical care. Personally, I think insurance companies and hospitals should be regulated by our government. I do not like the thought of regulating businesses of any kind, but when our personal health is concerned, I think new laws should be enacted to force insurance companies to lower their premiums substantially. 

I urge everyone to please look up Medicare online or find someone with a Medicare handbook. It should show you how absolutely absurd this Medicare for all is. If you think you are paying to much for healthcare now, just wait until someone makes “Medicare for All” a law. This should scare everyone. 

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(1) comment


You are absolutely factually correct. The senior who qualifies for Part A of Medicare does so after first earning it by 40 quarters (10 years) of full-time paying into the Medicare system. Part B, as you stated, has with it a monthly premium that goes up, according to your income. (Not free).

The 20% gap in coverage on Part B is devastating for seniors who have serious health conditions requiring outpatient tests and treatments over years. Sadly, there was a recent story in the news of a Washington State couple that did ended their lives over $130,000 in credit card bills racked up by unpaid medical bills.

Medicare is no picnic. It is so critically important for those ON Medicare to obtain Supplemental insurance to pay that 20% and to shop the entire market for that coverage, as prices vary widely.


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