January 05, 2017
Francena Dwyer, 64, would like to remind Congress that a person’s health can change overnight. For Francena, it was a chemical injury. She was an English professor at a community college in Connecticut for more than 20 years until her deteriorating health forced her to take early retirement long before she had planned. Ten years ago, she painted her cottage with oil-based paint. The toxic fumes from the paint immediately triggered multiple chemical sensitivities and have left her with serious medical issues that eventually made it impossible for her to teach. At age 63, she accessed Medicare, which now covers her medical bills, significant given her many physical challenges.
Francena urges Congress to reject any notion of a voucher system for Medicare. Ailing older adults often become confused with the challenges of simply running a household, never mind having to navigate a voucher system for their health care. Compared to Medicare’s current guaranteed benefits, a voucher system will most likely be much more expensive for the consumer. Moreover, it would take years to iron out the issues caused by these changes. We must protect the current system for generations to come.