Medicare Stories

December 21, 2019

Joyce Bourgault

Joyce Bourgault, 67, recently retired from her job as Executive Director of Helping Hands free clinic in Columbus, Ohio. While there, she saw more seniors who could not afford their health care there than she expected. Their modest Social Security benefits was all some of them had, and many could not afford their Medicare Part B and D premiums for physician care and prescription drugs.

That is why Joyce cannot imagine cutting and privatizing Medicare. She says that the ensuing higher deductibles would be bad enough – and then there would be fewer cost controls. Joyce does not trust the insurance companies to perform the roll that the government currently handles with low administrative costs. The insurers would be too focused on their own bottom line, and seniors would suffer.

Joyce has tried calling Speaker Ryan about these issues but has not been able to reach anyone in his office.

“Answer your e-mail and phone,” she would like to tell him. “And leave Medicare alone. Quit trying to take money out of the system and focus instead on containing costs.”

Joyce says that privatization would mean going backwards, after the advances of the Affordable Care Act. There would no longer be as much oversight. More unnecessary tests would be ordered, and there would be more duplication of services. And she speaks from experience.

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