Republican congressional leaders are pushing to support turning Medicare into a premium support, or voucher, system. This would certainly end the guarantee of health insurance coverage to American seniors and would dramatically increase costs for current and future retirees. There are approximately 288,000 Mainers on Medicare and around another 315,000 that will be eligible in the coming years.

The fact is Medicare is not facing a financial crisis, with Part A funded mainly by a payroll tax (yes, we have all paid into this for years), parts B and D funded by enrollee premiums, and general federal revenue having permanent appropriations to cover whatever premiums do not.

The problem we face is controlling the rising cost of health care, not Medicare, and creating a voucher plan to offset some of the cost of buying private insurance will only place a hugely unfair burden of cost on the senior population that thousands can never afford.

Bob MacDougall


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