We can secure Medicare and improve health care now
Health Reform: What’s In It for You By Kathleen Sebelius
The other day I got a letter from a se- nior named Maureen who wrote that she “counted the months and days to
my 65th birthday because I could be enrolled
in Medicare. Medicare
Most seniors I talk to,
including my father,
who is 88, couldn’t agree
more. They don’t think
Medicare is perfect. But
they wouldn’t trade it for
any other health plan in
the world. So they can’t
help but wonder, “If I
already like my insur-
ance, how will reform
First, you’re going to
save money on your med-
icines. In 2007, 8 million
seniors got stuck in the so-called prescrip-
tion drug “doughnut hole.” That means they
had to pay full price for their medicines out
of pocket—hundreds or even thousands of
dollars a month. But with health insurance
reform, seniors in the doughnut hole will get
half off on all brand-name drugs.
Second, reform is
going to strengthen
Medicare’s finances so
your benefits don’t get
cut. Unless we make a
change, the Medicare
Part A trust fund will be
gone in eight years. Un-
der reform, we’ll make
easy choices now—like
ending subsidies to pri-
vate insurers—so we don’t have to make hard
Third, reform will stop private insurance
abuses against older Americans. Today, a
60-year-old can pay $7,000 more a year than a
27-year-old for the same coverage. Or a person
can be denied coverage because he or she has
high blood pressure or diabetes. Health insur-
ance reform will make it illegal to charge older
Americans exorbitant premiums or to discrim-
inate based on preexisting conditions.
Health care debate
Why do you use the words “hype,” “lies”
and “fear-mongering” in your article on
the health care debate [“The Assault on
When you purchase something, don’t
you question the salesperson? Why then
do you use such words to put down the
people who are questioning the
health care bills?
Are you so enamored of our
government that you feel it
can make no mistakes?
“The Assault on Truth”
says that “the rise of the
Internet and the decline of the
mainstream press as a prime source of in-
formation” have put “at risk” the prospect
of truly understanding the health care
proposals. It is just the opposite.
The rise of the Internet is what is giv-
ing us more diverse information. We no
longer have to rely on the single opinion of
the mainstream press.
will be cut.
I deeply appreciate “The Assault on
Truth.” So much bogus information is
floating around the Internet. You have
given me facts with which to refute some
of the wilder notions that crop up around
the coffeepot at my local fitness center.
LEFT: BILL PUGLIANO/GETTY IMAGES; RIGHT: R.O. BLECHMAN
Regarding “Church Bells Take Their Toll”
[What an Outrage]: The Phoenix church’s
bell ringing is wrong in this case. The
neighbors were there first and have the
right of quiet enjoyment of their property.
Freedom of religion includes the right of
freedom from religion.
MANFRED M. FLEISCHER
Oro Valley, Ariz.
Kathleen Sebelius is U.S. secretary of Health
and Human Services.
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