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Letter: Cost increases necessitate change

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By The Staff

It is time we take the responsibility for all in the United States, especially those below the poverty line, the elderly, disabled, and children, and pass a health reform bill.

I am 67, disabled  with lung problems since childhood, now on oxygen full time.

 Basically, I am living on Social Security, a small income from painting and a small retirement fund. (I used to teach art kindergarten through university.) Now I am unable to work due to my disability.

Currently, I have Medicare parts A/B, Medicare drug policy and an additional supplement, since I have high daily health care costs.

I am grateful I can afford this coverage, but the cost keeps going up and my income keeps going down. In 2000, this insurance cost $50. In 2010, this insurance costs $239. In addition, it has become more and more difficult to even obtain needed oxygen necessities due to providers being put in a financial bind by their suppliers, and then passing on more costs to we the clients.This was caused by Medicare Law DRA2005, passed under President Bush that went into effect January 2009.

I have one drug, Advair50/500, the co-pay has gone from $20 to $40 for the last three months of the year for just this one drug, unless I can get samples from my doctor.

Medicare and Medicaid are government programs which children, those over 65 and those with disability are currently using. It is foolish and unrealistic to lament government interference or socialism. These programs may need updating, but they work well. I have been using Medicare full time for the last three years. The big problem is the escalating costs.

Many people over 65 and even younger in northern New Mexico have to make a choice between food, heating, needed prescription drugs and needed health care as they have no or little income.

This is disgraceful in a country as rich as this United States of America. We must act now and create good, supportive health and drug care affordable to all.

Health care spending rose to an estimated $2.5 trillion in 2009 and is projected to double by 2019. This is unacceptable. Do not kick this problem down the road.

Sue Lucksted

Las Vegas