The Effects of Proposed Medicaid Cuts

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Niko J. Kallianiotis for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Medicaid Is for Everyone,” by David Grabowski, Jonathan Gruber and Vincent Mor (Op-Ed, June 13):

It’s true. You or someone you love is going to need Medicaid. You may not need the nursing home care so aptly described by the writers. But you may rely on community-based services, like home care, that will allow you to stay in your home and out of a nursing facility. Medicaid is the lifeline that covers many of the benefits that Medicare does not provide.

And you will also most definitely need Medicare. And though not widely reported, Medicare is also under threat, as the Senate works to dismantle Medicaid and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The American Health Care Act, the Republican legislation, cuts more than $58 billion from Medicare reserves dedicated to paying for hospital care, depleting those resources two years earlier than anticipated. The Senate’s version of the bill retains this policy.

These stealth cuts to Medicare will fund tax breaks for the wealthiest among us. Even worse, these same cuts could be used to manufacture a Medicare “crisis” in the name of justifying future and deeper cuts and ending Medicare as we know it.

JOE BAKER, NEW YORK

The writer is president of the Medicare Rights Center.

To the Editor:

The writers point out that a great number of us elderly — my wife and I are 83 — will require nursing home care paid for, now or eventually, by Medicaid, and that many will exhaust savings until they qualify.

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The poor get the same nursing home care for free that those of us with savings pay an amount tantamount to highway robbery for — in New York State, the yearly cost can easily be more than $125,000 (the government, ironically, which could afford to pay more, actually pays substantially less).

Sure, society has an obligation to the poor and needy. But I can’t help feel that I and many of my aged friends who have scrimped to save part of our modest incomes — taking inexpensive vacations, eating “early-bird specials” at restaurants, and, generally, pinching our pennies — are being penalized for our prudence. I will be paying $125,000 a year until my savings are gone, and most likely, my roommate will be paying nothing.

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