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Letter: These reforms would help strengthen Medicare

Strengthen Medicare, don't cut it

2:15 PM, Sep. 10, 2013  |  Comments
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EDITOR: I am concerned about what could happen to Medicare in the upcoming debt ceiling debate.

I rely on Medicare for my health care, as do 49 million other people. I would hate to see it eliminated or drastically changed, though I realize some changes are needed to make this program less expensive. The American Association of Retired Persons has studied this issue and has come up with several good ideas to cut costs without cutting Medicare. One would be legislation to enable Medicare to negotiate drug prices just as insurance companies do.

Another would be to outlaw "pay for delay" that allows brand-name drug manufacturers to negotiate with those who make generic drugs, keeping generic drugs from being made available. The result is that people like me pay a lot more money for brand-name drugs than we would for generic drugs even after the legal patent period has expired.

I intend to urge our senators and representatives to support these solutions that would help strengthen Medicare for years to come.

Rachel A. Heldt,

Mosinee

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