I have been caring for my 80-year-old aunt, which has given me new insight into the current debate about whether we need yet another government program, the Affordable Care Act.

My aunt and uncle worked hard their entire lives, paid their taxes, saved their money for retirement. They did everything they should have done and never asked once for government assistance. My uncle served this country during World War II.

Fast forward 50 years. My uncle has passed away, and my aunt collects Social Security and my uncle’s pension. She makes $400 too much each month to qualify for any care — not MaineCare, not Medicaid, nothing.

She has some savings, but that will go quickly and then there will be no money to care for her.

I barely make enough to take care of my family, which includes three children to put through college.

My aunt said to me this morning, “I hope I die before I run out of money.”

Meanwhile, young men and women don’t work, but receive MaineCare because they are allegedly disabled.

My 80-year-old aunt who has broken both her hips, has rheumatoid arthritis and who uses a walker does not qualify for services because she saved money.

I was brought up to believe this was the greatest country in the world if we were willing to work hard. We no longer have that shared value.

A great country cannot keep stealing money in the form of increased taxes from working people and give it to people who refuse to work.

We don’t need another government program; we can’t even afford the ones we have now. I hope I die before I run out of money. I’m sure I’ll get taxed for that too.

Kathleen Mahoney

Augusta

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