Letter: Increase Medicare availability

Published:

 

Medicare is too expensive. Some say fix Medicare by increasing the eligibility age to 67 or 70. Wrong, this action drives up health care overhead by increasing the number of people not getting preventive care. Overhead costs come back into the federal budget in hidden form. The insurance industry increases profitability by increasing the size of the risk pool, taking in a less risky population and charging them more. Get more people on Medicare and charge more for younger people. Scale the premium down as we age so older folks would pay a more modest amount.

Legislating on the hope that those between the ages of 60 and 70 will have some coverage other than Medicare is irresponsible. Already the nonworking spouses of Medicare recipients who are not yet qualified for coverage may spend several years without insurance.

But the pool of other 60-somethings without coverage is growing too as their employment opportunities shrink.

The Medicare solution must make preventive care more available, increasing early diagnosis and treatment outside the emergency room. Don’t make Medicare out of reach of those in their 60s. Rather, increase availability to all uninsured 60-somethings, charging enough to subsidize Medicare for the older population.

Peter Henrickson

Vancouver