Medicare is anything but free

Gil Dietz makes an important point in his letter to the Des Moines Register. He itemizes the monthly costs his family pays for their Medicare coverage. Medicare is not free, but it does make health care affordable for millions of Americans. Republicans should not be allowed to deny that access to many of America’s most vulnerable citizens.

Medicare is anything but free

My wife and I are each covered by Medicare through the Social Security system. A fee of $109 each month will automatically be deducted from my Social Security benefits during 2017 for Medicare insurance. In addition, I will pay $286 each month to a non-government company for supplemental insurance to pay for doctor or hospital charges not fully covered by Medicare.

My wife, who receives less in Social Security, will have $108 taken from her monthly benefits to pay for Medicare and another $244 goes for her supplemental insurance. In addition to that, $58.20 is deducted each month, from both accounts, to fund Medicare prescription plans that pay for most, but not all, of our prescriptions.

I worked for 44 years, and money was withheld from my salary every month to fund Social Security. My employers paid equal amounts. Medicare has never been free.

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