We need to protect health care


To the editor:

Baby Boomers are not entitled to $2 trillion. They will explode the deficit, complained lame-duck Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on a recent “Meet the Press” because “Baby Boomers are retiring.”

For those of us in Riverdale who are enjoying (or anticipating) the benefits of Medicare, we need to recognize that the Congressional juggernaut that couldn’t fully repeal Obamacare last summer has now turned its sights to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Seema Verma, President Trump’s head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is urging states to add a work requirement to Medicaid, even as states across the country “cut costs” by reducing benefits — changing prescription drug protocols, increasing “prior authorization” requirements, delaying and denying life-saving therapies.

Meanwhile, those of us on employer-based insurance face increasingly unaffordable co-pays, deductibles and network restrictions.

Old people, young people, middle class and working class — we’re all vulnerable. We must act together now.

How? Call on state Sen. Jeffrey Klein to listen to the stories of his constituents — those currently insured who are being refused coverage for needed medical treatment, and those at risk of losing the insurance benefits they count on.

Urge Sen. Klein to proactively champion the New York Health Act (A-4738, S-4840), not just passively “sponsor” it. This legislation will guarantee all New York residents all essential medical care — primary and preventive, hospitalization, prescription drugs, reproductive, dental, vision, hearing and substance abuse treatment — with free choice of doctors (including primary and specialist).

It removes financial barriers to care while 98 percent of us will pay less, or far less, than we pay now.

Barbara L. Estrin