Don’t privatize Medicare


I feel it is my civic duty to make sure the people of our community are aware and informed about the plans of House speaker Paul Ryan and Donald Trump’s cabinet pick for Secretary of Health & Human Services, Tom Price, with regards to Medicare.

You may have heard about the proposals of Congressional Republicans to privatize Medicare. Why privatize what is left of the public option when there are already private options to those who can afford it? The clear, simple answer is, in one word: Austerity. They will preach of the free market’s ability to lower costs and raise quality. So why have the costs of private health care grown so much more over the years than the costs of Medicare?

And why are Medicare beneficiaries generally more satisfied with their care than those with private plans? Maybe Congress should focus on correcting the health industry’s oligopoly before throwing what is left of our health care to the dogs.

What is most problematic is that the voucher payments proposed in House Republican plans are not set to keep pace with actual health care costs. Rather, they are set to follow GDP or Consumer Price Index. This assuredly means that Medicare payments will not keep up with the price tag of health care. The rest of the bill will be showing up the mailboxes of our senior citizens, becoming more and more unaffordable as the years roll on.

Pat Tiberi, do what is right for the people, not your party. Don’t privatize Medicare.

— Sally Pickett


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