Dear Editor – one more rant:

Kamala Harris and all the others wanna-bees for Dem nomination want and talk of Medicare for all.

I am on Medicare and have been since I turned 65. Until you reach that magic age you are ignorant of what this program covers and how much it reimburses Medical professionals.

Basically, only a certain percentage of charges are covered the rest is a "co-pay" that the patient may be required to pay. Supplemental insurance will pay another amount, but still, not all of the bill is paid which means one of two things --- the medical professional overcharges or the hope is private insurance held by those still working will pay the balance.

There are Physicians who do not take Medicare patients because of the paperwork hassles and underpayment for their services. I have been diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis which is a chronic incurable disease. A few years ago the only cure was a lung transplant, difficult to get and the patient probably acquires other problems inherited from the donor’s lungs.

My care physician stating that I am too old for a transplant prescribed Esbriet which was a drug not available two or so years ago. This drug does not cure, but only slows down the progress of the disease. Two of my friends had this disease and are pushing up daisies.

My progress with the drug and exercise has really improved - to the point that my care physician has stated that I will probably live out my genetic potential and die of something else.

The kicker to this drug is the co-pay is $2,000 per month. I have worked hard for my retirement assets and I do not wish to give it to a drug company and die broke. So I was ready to take my chances.

A Social Worker at the U of I hospitals was able to enroll me in a grant program while I pay nothing for the drug. I do have to re-enroll for eligibility yearly, but so far the program has worked very well.

Now then what would happen if Kamala Harris or another Progressive Liberal (read Socialist/Communist) wins the nomination and the Presidency with a Democrat-controlled Congress? No private insurance - no private grant programs -- what? I think what it means is my grant program will be canceled and I not able to afford the co-pay and will slowly deteriorate until death occurs!

Free stuff is not free -- Medicare for all means that for some elderly ill -- there will be no money available for treatment. Which is the “death panel” that Governor Sara Palin spoke of as V.P. candidate with Sen McCain. I might add she was severely criticized for saying so. Our present Medicare-Medicaid programs are not sustainable. Legislators know this but do nothing because of the Political danger to their re-election.

This free stuff rings well with those who pay no taxes and or those that wish to punish those who are successful economically. They will continue to blame others for their inadequacies.

My position is – If you didn’t earn it, you don’t deserve it. That is not to say I would not help the disabled or others who need a “hand up”. But it seems that once a government program goes into effect there is no way to curtail or get rid of it when the need is no longer there.

Be careful what you wish for – you may get it even if it means disaster for the whole.

John Stiegelmeyer

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