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Letters to the Editor

Elderly spend too much on health care

Major cuts to Social Security – $4 billion over the next decade at a time when the percentage of people retiring will increase – $537 billion in cuts to Medicare, and $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid are being proposed by the House of Representatives in their 2019 budget.

They are led by Speaker Paul Ryan, who doesn’t believe in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid because he thinks they are entitlements even though people have paid for them.

Consider the average woman in her 80s paying $8,400 a year out-of-pocket for health care. While poverty fell among people 18 and younger, and those 18 to 64 between 2015 and 2016, it rose to 14.5 percent for people older than 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which takes into account health care costs and other big expenses.

Remember, you pay in to Social Security and Medicare every payday unless you are a state employee who still pays for Medicare.

The reason for the cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is the tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations have greatly diminished the tax funds coming into the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. is borrowing funds at a far greater rate than in 2017, when the old tax rules applied.

So while the rich got big tax breaks, the elderly are supposed to step up and pay more. 

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