Wed, Jan. 22

Letter: Health care a human right, with education, food and shelter

Editor: There is much discussion lately about health care. I would like to relate my experience with Medicare that is being purported as the more popular and the best health care. As an elderly person, it is my only option.

Three years ago, I had major surgery and was sent to the lab for preoperative tests which included blood work and x-rays of my heart and chest.

The bill was sent to Medicare for payment and they refused payment saying that these tests were not necessary.

I appealed for two years and my own surgeon wrote a letter stating that this was protocol for surgery.

Has anyone, that you know of, ever had surgery without the proper information for the surgeon and the staff beforehand? They would be sued for malpractice.

The supplement that I have with United Health Care would not pay their part because they only pay what Medicare approves.

After many letters and phone calls, Medicare finally stated that the provider would have to cover these costs($500) because they could not see that she had explained to me beforehand that I would have to pay for it.

To this day, I continue to find the whole case totally unbelievable. What doctor or staff would say to you that you must have pre-op care but that it would have to be paid for out of pocket.

This health insurance is extremely expensive. Medicare only pays for 80% percent and it is necessary to purchase a supplement. I have not applied for the pharmacological portion as I do not need it.

I only have one medicine that I order from Canada, and it is much less expensive than what I would pay for Part D.

Part A is deducted from your social security before they send you the check and I was forced to pay for that for 14 years before I ever used it.

Part B is now raised to $134 a month. The United Health Care supplement has been raised to $243 a month.

When you see that the Social Security benefits have been raised, don’t believe it; the money is immediately transferred to Medicare. This amounts to 20% of my retirement income.

We need to examine closely these health care proposals. When I worked (and I worked until I was 80 years old) I had Blue Cross Blue Shield from my employer and I paid much less per month.

I did have a $20 co-pay but I never had this kind of difficulty with health insurance.

I do believe that health care is a human right, along with education, food and shelter.

Let us not get off the track and get hood winked into a system that will only be a problem not only for patients but for health care providers.

Vivian Peterson Cottonwood

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