I am 83 years old, and I raised four children. I’ve faced a lot of challenges in my life, and I have several medical conditions that I have had to manage over the years. I am a cancer survivor and have had a bilateral mastectomy. Now I take a cancer drug called Aromisin. Even though it is a generic drug, it’s very expensive. I also take medication for heart failure, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, arthritis and to prevent phebitis — you name it, I’ve got it.

The governor’s proposed budget makes changes to the Medicare Savings Program and the Drugs for the Elderly program that would cost me at least $3,600 a year — $3,600 I don’t have living on a fixed income (Social Security). I would have to pay the Medicare monthly premiums, deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance costs, leaving me with very little left for basic necessities such as food, rent and gasoline.

I am very grateful for the help I’ve received through the Medicare Savings Program. This program has meant I don’t have to choose between medications that help me to live and my other needs. It’s meant that I can remain independent, driving myself to appointments and the grocery store. But if these changes to the MSP-DEL program go through, I will have to make impossible choices. It’s difficult to think about what might happen.

I ask the Legislature not to change the income limits for the MSP-DEL program. Many seniors in Maine will be impacted severely.

Barbara C. McVety


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