It disturbs me that Medicare Advantage is the target of budget cuts once again. It seems like Congress is always talking about cutting Medicare and its sister programs, and unfortunately they turn the talk into action. Since 2010, for instance, cuts totaling $200 billion have been made incrementally to the Medicare Advantage program, making it more difficult and expensive for seniors to receive the care they need. I admire Senator Mark Kirk and Congressman Mike Bost for opposing further cuts, and I urge them to keep fighting for seniors.
This issue hits particularly close to home because my husband has an Advantage plan. He has dementia, and we rely on his plan to help treat his condition. If additional cuts are made to the Medicare Advantage program, the costs associated with his Advantage plan, including premiums and co-pays, will likely increase. Seniors should not have to spend their life savings just to stay alive.
We would also be upset if his benefits were reduced. If more cuts occur, the first thing to go will likely be the dental and vision coverage enjoyed by many seniors with Medicare Advantage. They need these benefits, as both are tied into a senior’s health and well-being. Problems with the teeth cause a number of health issues. And if seniors can’t see very well, how enjoyable will their lives be? I’m a member of the Lions Club, and we help seniors get the eyeglasses they need. I’ve had many phone calls from seniors who make just $300 or $500 on Social Security, and they don’t have vision coverage or other benefits. We help them get eyeglasses, but seniors shouldn’t have to beg for help!
Before retirement, my husband and I worked in the health care field. He performed CT scans, and I was an office manager for physicians. We know what type of care people need to remain healthy, and it’s appalling that our seniors are not getting this care because of cuts to their health care programs. Seniors are counting on Senator Kirk and Congressman Bost to take their support for the Medicare Advantage program a step further. We are counting on them to apply pressure on their colleagues to reject any further cuts to Medicare Advantage.