Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I want to know what's going on

I recently read a letter from the Social Security Administration explaining to a Medicare beneficiary that the state of Kentucky is no longer paying Medicare premiums for lower-income and disabled recipients, and therefore those premiums (in this case $66.60 per month, an appropriately unholy number) will instead be deducted from the monthly Social Security amount.

Is this happening across the board? And if so, why isn't it hitting the news? I can't find anything out there (granted it may be buried) on the Kentucky website, etc. I need to ask some other people I know on Social Security if they've received similar letters. Cosidering how low the monthly income tends to be and for many, that's the only income, this is going to really hurt our families. I know many already rely on other family members for basic necessities like food because the prescription drug issue is a joke.

And it's only going to get worse. Next year, the premiums are expected to be $78.20/month. In fact, our illustrious President is presiding over a 17% increase in premiums, the largest in Medicare's history, yet telling seniors (who make up a large voting bloc) that recent legislation is a boon.

I also wondering who made the decision in Kentucky, and why. I'm assuming it was someone in Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration (ironically, the governor, a Republican, is also a doctor).

Mind you, for many, it may seem a fairly small amount, but for seniors or disabled people who rely on this, that's a cut of nearly 10% worth of income.

So I'm wondering, by the time I'm 70 (because I won't be eligible until then), will there be a Social Security and Medicare, or will the whole thing just go back to the government as an insurance premium, or what?

I did come across this, Families USA: Families USA-Shortchanged, which talks about how the buy-in that was legislated in the late 1990s didn't necessarily reach everyone it was meant to cover.

Anyone know more about this issue or can point me in the right direction? I'm really tempted to call up the local ABC affiliate that does investigations in the kind of thing and let them loose on the politicians.

No comments: