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posted: 9/5/2012 6:28 PM

Vouchers do not protect Medicare

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I recently received a mailing from Congressman Dold which stated: "Protecting and preserving Medicare and Social Security for our seniors is a top priority for Robert Dold."

The congressman is only partially correct in his claim of protecting and preserving Medicare for seniors. The seniors he refers to are those currently over the age of 55.

In April 2011, Dold voted for the Ryan budget, which would convert Medicare to a voucher program when those now under the age of 55 become eligible, in effect ending Medicare. The voucher program would provide funds to "Medicare" eligible seniors so that they could go out into the insurance marketplace and purchase health insurance.

Unfortunately, the value of the voucher might not cover the insurance costs and would increase only at the rate of inflation.

Health care costs have increased at a substantially higher rate than inflation as have health insurance costs. According to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2011 health insurance costs increased 9 percent. The rate of inflation in 2011 was 3.2 percent. The voucher holder would need to make up the increased cost differential or decrease their coverage.

New seniors would be at the mercy of the insurance companies.

Does Dold have a commitment to "protect and preserve" Medicare? I don't think so.

Stuart Kronish

Highland Park

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