Celebrating Medicare’s anniversary

12 years ago

Celebrating Medicare’s anniversary

To the Editor;

    It is the anniversary of the institution of Medicare at the end of July. Before Medicare, many older Americans could not even think about retirement. At my age (I am presently 89 years old), I remember the struggles that my parents faced.

They were both employed, but medical issues were always a concern. For some people we knew, the daily issues were often difficult, even devastating, and hampered their ability to save for their later years. Retirement for many of them became an impossible dream.

    While I understand that the Affordable Care Act has been a source of some debate, what is clear is that the law improves Medicare. With more than 228,000 beneficiaries in Maine alone, this is great news. For one thing, the law adds several benefits such as yearly wellness exams and screenings for certain cancers and diabetes. Early detection is so important with serious health issues and this benefit can help many of us stay healthier longer. The Affordable Care Act also closes the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage or “doughnut hole” so our out-of-pocket costs will go down significantly in the future.

    With benefits such as these, the Affordable Care Act improves our health supports and programs. We will be better off because of it and as we mark the anniversary of Medicare on July 30th, I feel that this is indeed something to celebrate.

Jane Magnus, volunteer

AARP Outreach