Medicare Bill carries seeds of its own Destruction

November 19th, 2003

To the Editor,

Any passage of entitlement program funds proposed by this administration will contain the seeds of its own destruction making your support of the medicare bill extremely naive. The clause which will be activated when future reliance upon tax revenues reaches its ceiling is there to ensure programmatic cuts will occur on some other legislator’s watch. Then private insurers will certainly mimic Medicare cuts to increase profits. When no choice exists, why offer “more”?

The government is a “not for profit” enterprise and to charge more for premiums to force recipients into signing up with profit making businesses is to sabotage the entire purpose behind medicare. To say persons living in targeted metropolitan areas will have to pay more for medicare benefits because insurers must charge more is also ludicrous. It penalizes the retired or disabled urban worker for contributing to the economy by living in settings where the jobs were available. Higher urban housing and food costs have already reduced standards of living for those on fixed incomes and few can afford the costs and stress of relocating to new environs.

Urban dwellers must not be considered a different “market-share” under entitlement programs.

Considering the increased need for medical care among urban dwellers long exposed to excessive pollution, higher premiums again penalize them for illnesses borne of government cooperation with polluters in the name of polluter’s profits. The real issue here is not increased costs of medical services but skyrocketing rates of illness and disability, much of which is PREVENTABLE!

Passage of this bill would only reward politicians who want to claim they kept their election campaign promises as we enter a new election year cycle. Let’s not acquiesce on the assumption that something is better than nothing. This will lead to “nothing” down the road as per its intent.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: NY Times

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