“Ask Your Attorney” Column
I’m Worried About My Parents’ Medicare Account
Dear Counselor: I can’t tell you how anxious all this talk about Medicare going bankrupt is to me, and my parents [who just became eligible]. What happens if it does? They can’t afford being without these benefits. Am I wrong to think there is a national problem? Medicare is a law, isn’t it? How can something that was passed and adopted, and which has been in effect for so many years be in such trouble? Is there anything we do about it?
Dear Client: You are right to be concerned because even the Medicare Trustees who are responsible for administering the program now report that the fund’s hospital benefit will go bankrupt in 2024, which is likely long before your parents both pass away. Obviously, if there is no money in the fund to pay claims, none will be paid. Already, many physicians are refusing to take any more patients whose bills are paid through Medicare. And what is worse [for Medicare at least] is that President Obama has “cut” over $700 billion from the Medicare fund to pay for his new health care plan. What I can report is that you may want to consider a political solution as the best way to act at this time. A plan to save Medicare has been advanced by Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, and our own Congressman, Paul Ryan, who is the Vice-Presidential Candidate. The most important feature to the Romney/Ryan Medicare Plan is the provision that NO CHANGE WILL BE MADE TO THE MEDICARE BENEFITS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOW AGE 55 AND ABOVE. For those who are younger, there will be a choice of guaranteed coverage and affordability options. So, if you are interested in helping your parents, the Romney/Ryan Plan is something that you may want to support because it guarantees that your parents’ benefits, and those of anyone else now 55 years of age or more, will remain in full effect. The election is on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Everyone’s vote is important.
John L. Maier, Jr., Attorney at Law
114 N. Church St.
Elkhorn, WI 53121