Re: “Betsy Sweet: ‘Medicare for All’ is the only solution to the U.S. health care crisis” (Dec. 21):

One only has to talk to a senior citizen to see what reality is.

As a senior citizen on a fixed income, and having a member of the family needing major medical this year, I can tell you that Medicare is no free ride.

In addition to a lifetime of taxes, I paid 14.7 percent in monthly payments for two for Medicare from my Social Security. I can also be taxed up to 15 percent from federal on Social Security income.

To date, I have paid 22.3 percent out of pocket toward a maximum of $8,500. I am told I will come close to the maximum, as this only represents the first nine months of the year. Prior to facing these medical payments, I was relieved of 18.9 percent in property taxes. As you can see, my Social Security has basically been returned to local, federal and Medicare, as well as medical costs.

With medical costs (and the care was outstanding), providers billed Medicare $205,525.90, yet only $87,194.15 was approved, less the Medicare withholding of $1,501.53 and my share of $4,797.14 – to date.

I have to wonder if a “Medicare for All” solution will result in hospitals staying open. Many in the medical field support Medicare for All, but can they survive on this kind of payment schedule? Many politicians talk but give you very little in reality on how this supposedly free concept will work, because free is not free.

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