Health care for seniors | Federal Way letters
August 25, 2009 · 1:35 PM
Despite all the furor over health insurance, not much is really going to change for those of us who are senior citizens. We already have a public option: Medicare. However, it is not all that optional, unless we are wealthy enough to be able to opt out of Medicare.
Many of us also have supplemental insurance to get better coverage and navigate a minefield of endless rules, premiums and co-pays.
No matter what changes are instigated in health care reform, coverage for seniors will likely be the same, though there will be constant worries about future funding. So, I am writing to discuss the real issues facing seniors that do not get much press.
In the late 1980s, President Ronald Reagan passed the largest tax increase ever on the middle class. Two portions impact seniors hard today: The 7.5 percent threshold for un-reimbursed medical expense deductions, and the tax on Social Security benefits. There has even been talk of increasing the deduction threshold to 10 percent.
Thresholds and Social Security taxes can hit even healthy seniors hard. After all, health problems increase as we grow older. Senior citizens need to concentrate more on eliminating tax penalties, than on changing a ponderous health care system called Medicare.
Romana Annette, Auburn