June 30, 2019

My commentary about “Medicare For All” as presented by the Democrat presidential candidates brought in some outstanding letters from readers, many of whom are actually on Medicare and know the costs and how it works in practice.  (It is NOT free; that would be Medicaid.)  I encourage you to check those out.

In the meantime, here is a thoughtful response from someone who served his country for 25 years in the military and earned his enrollment in a select single-payer program called “Tricare For Life.”  This seems to be what young American socialists and even immigrants who are not citizens think they are entitled to, by virtue of...existing, I guess.  Thank you for your service, sir, and for your wisdom as well.

From Alan S:

As a retired military member, I have Tricare For Life as my secondary to Medicare. I earned that right, which the Congress tried to take away (lifelong medical care). Thanks to folks like Bud Day, USAF BGen retired and deceased, we fought for and retained part of this cancelled promise in the form now of Tricare, for which I pay. I am fortunate to have it, but I do not want to lose it so that those who are not even citizens can have the same healthcare that I gave 25 years of service to "earn.”

Single payer is what I have, but I really did earn it. Those who have individual healthcare plans, now that Obamacare has been modified, are better off than they would be by sharing the “Medicare For All” plan that is proposed by the left. Either one has a price tag, but with the former you have choices. With the latter you have delays, limited services, and no choices.

The giveaways for what I earned or paid for are appealing to a younger generation that has been lied to by my classmates from the 60's that are now college professors. Socialism as defined by the 20+ Democrat candidates, is Christmas year-round. Perhaps these accolytes of the left should spend a few weeks in pleasure spots of the world like Cuba or Venezuela, and see what socialism really is like. Using examples like Denmark or Sweden is a false narrative. They are not socialist nations in the mold of what Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren want.

We who fought for our nation, although no longer in uniform, need to continue to fight for what is real, not for what the left aspires to. I for one, am up for the fight. God Bless America and God Bless You.




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Comments 1-25 of 35

  • Dawn Street

    07/08/2019 03:22 PM

    Medicare for All is a gross misrepresentation of fairness. American Citizens have been paying for Medicare benefits all of their working lives and for most of us that started about age 16 or 17. By the time we are old enough to apply for Medicare, and we do have to apply for it, we have paid into that "program for over 50 years before "qualifying" for it.

    I was very surprised when I learned that I had to pay for my Medicare benefit out of my Social Security check. And on top of that I had to "apply" for supplemental policies because Medicare does not cover everything. Then I saw how much Medicare pays to the medical professionals!! It does not even cover the cost of the services! Can't blame doctors for refusing to accept new patients under Medicare. And don't ever let them keep you over night for "observation" because you will pay the entire bill. Prescriptions, Therapies, equipment require supplemental Medicare and so do visual and dental and you have to use specified providers. And remember not all want to serve us older citizens.

    I was a social worker and discharge planner before I retired. Illegal aliens were a drain on our resources in Texas. They used the ER for all their medical needs from pregnancy to a hang nail to a serious on the job injury. We had people who were hospitalized in Mexico come across the border on gurneys in the backs of pick ups with their IVs still attached and dumped in our ER. Insurance? Nada! Extended stay in the ICU. The guy was in an ICU in MX but the family decided they wanted him in our hospital. He was a citizen of MX living illegally in the USA but back home for a visit and had an MVA with brain trauma. Not many Skilled Nursing units or nursing homes have charity beds. So hospitals get stuck with the nonpaying illegal alien taking up space in an ICU that a USA Citizen might need. Another example is an illegal working on a ranch and sustaining a serious injury requiring surgery and ICU. The employer made a partial payment and was not required to do so. He tried to help but as the medical bills went through the roof, he could not continue to give money. He did not register as being responsible for the bill so... Then there are the pregnancies without benefit of an obstetrical services ie prenatal care and possibly trying to have a baby at home... Baby has problems and so does Mama. Child can be born with cerebral palsy. Numerous problems with Mama. No insurance.

    I tried to get the Mexican Embassy and the Consulate involved. Nah, they do not accept responsibility. They do not want their own people to come home for medical care and to be closer to their families. Oh, and then the families converge on the hospital and take over the waiting rooms where they set up camp with sleeping bags and blankets, suitcases, etc. and expect to receive complimentary meals, lodging, etc. A paid vacation at the hospital's expense.
    I would hope the hospitals have wised up and kicked out the freeloaders, but I seriously doubt it.

    We did have some charitable organizations to call upon for help but their resources are limited. When they had money they were very willing to assist and if they didn't they at least tried to contact possible donors for more money. I just do not see how the DemonRats can expect us to pay for interlopers who come here illegally. We did not invite them in and we do not really want them here.

    And this is just the medical issues. Education is a whole nother matter and they are one of the reasons our schools are failing. They cannot speak or read English and they are so far behind that they are put in lower classes where they are much older and bigger than a 2nd grader and become the class bullies. Even in the higher grades they are formidable and pick fights and use knives, street wise in all the criminal activities. They get a slap on the wrist and a "poor little illegal doesn't know how to behave".

    Okay, I feel better now.

  • Debra Gilbert

    07/07/2019 09:04 PM

    I have been on Medicare for 2 years and although I worked for 32 years and my husband for at least 45 years still have to pay a supplement and extra for dental and vision. I really resent others getting insurance for free while we worked for years to pay our share. Where will this free healthcare come from? Taxpayers of course. These idiots, yes idiots, offering it freely don't intend to pay for this..they'll have privileges so they wont have to pay leaving it for the rest of us to pay.

  • Carl Smith

    07/04/2019 12:56 PM

    At 81 and drawing a Disability Stipend for my 8 years military, I notice that most of the comment are from those already on some sort of Govt. Insurance and like myself I was under the impression of paying into Medicare while in the Private sector would at least cut my premiums since even my private insurance for a million $$ cap carried a premium. I operated a Services Oriented company after 65 to 80 to finally achieve a 'Debt Free' life style, drive 15 & 18 year old vehicles and even have a few months of ever increasing utility, insurance payments in the bank. Even if I was a 30 year old smartest person on the planet ( which is a phase most of us have gone thru) I would still object to law breakers ( undocumented Democrats) invading our country and DEMANDING what the rest of us has had to work for. The little noticed item that even our lopsided media has ignored is comparing a Homogeneous nation such as the Scandinavian countries or even Cuba or South American countries to America, whose experiment in Multiculturalism and bringing thier Theocracies with them are not working out as planned. Our Constitutional form of Self Governance is at risk for a multitude of reasons but 'WE the PEOPLE' are no longer taught the very principles that made America the GREATEST EXPERIMENT ever attempted ever since about the turn of the last century when Lenin, Trotsky, became a fascination to the professors teaching the Humanities, that fascination became a Religion that Must be tried. I believe a glance at the media, especially the College Graduated, embrace FREE EVERYTHING, or they are just part of the GROUP THING cocktail crowd! The same analogy is a Football Team that only has ONE Objective--WIN. The teams that don't have Group Though are the losers. Sad!

  • Helen Smitch

    07/04/2019 10:42 AM

    I am on medicare they take the premium out every. I also have Medicare advantage which I don't pay a premium. I do have some copay which is for what I get. I don't want single pay I would not have a choice on who my doctor would be. Can go to my doctor when I want and not put on a waiting list. Or on a waiting list to labs don't and may e surgery. This younger generation has no idea how good we have it. Democrats just keep living to us and taking everything. Maybe if we to there pension away and medical care an let them live like us on social security and Medicare maybe just maybe they get a clue. Take awake the wage and pay them pendulum so a wage like are for father want done maybe they understand what the American people are about. Stop paying illegal and the American citizen.

  • Michael R Brannick

    07/03/2019 03:00 PM

    I, too, am a retired military member. The Air Force in my case. Like Alan, I am on Tricare for Life as a secondary payer to Medicare. Doctors don't like Tricare any more than they like Mredicare (If you check around you'll find that a lot of doctors wobn't take new Medicare patients. Medicare and Tricare require the doctor to jump through too many hoops and then pay less than civilian insurance, with Tricare paying even less than Medicare. And they take longer to pay the doctor. I spent 20 years as a B-52 pilot training to fight a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. I certainly don't want America to become socialist, at ALL! And the idea of giving foreign nationals who illegally entered my country the same medical system I earned through military service and still have to pay for does not sit well with me. And remember, if you think health care is expensive wait till you see how much it costs when it's free.

  • Lucy

    07/02/2019 07:49 AM

    It's another way of government stripping us of our rights! Another way of taking over. It's like they used to say, when it's sounds to good to be true, it's because it is to good to be true! Nothing's for free, not without a heavy price! " Our freedom"!

  • Michael and Barbara Cull

    07/01/2019 11:56 PM

    These people are so upset over Trump shaking hands and meeting with N Korea leader...
    Did we forget OBuma opened ties with Castro?
    Same mentality and as cruelness as Korea for decades...

  • gary stilwell

    07/01/2019 09:35 PM

    the Fed need not be dictating what is a personal choice--what the Fed needs to do is police the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies--not to mention the doctors who are the root cause of the opiod crisis

  • Marilyn DeMarco

    07/01/2019 06:36 PM

    You are so right. Thank you for your service. God bless you.

  • Max Garlington

    07/01/2019 05:37 PM

    I don’t look at Tricare-for-life as single payer when it is secondary to Medicare at age 65,,, maybe I have the wrong definition of single payer?

  • Carol Shields

    07/01/2019 03:33 PM

    The Democrat debates should have terrified honest Christian people who deal every day in reality. I learned that the Democrats do not deal in reality. They live in a hate filled world where they can say and do anything they want because they are important.
    Kamala Harris neglected to tell she grew up in a privileged household with a father that was a black Stanford professor and physician mother of India descent that practiced Hindu. When she was in school according to her biography she went to school in SF and there was no segregated public schools at the time. She blinded sided Biden with a very well rehearsed nasty statement. Not as nasty as she was when she was deliberately out to hurt the entire family of Kavanaugh at the hearings. She is hated filed and her targets are successful white men... Christian Catholics.
    Watch and learn.

  • Sheri Zillmer

    07/01/2019 03:20 PM

    I was dismayed when I was not able to view the Red Hen story. I will try to find story thru other channels. Keep up the good work.

  • Scott Brantley

    07/01/2019 02:49 PM

    I read an article today about health care in Germany. A woman from the U.S. moved there, and she no longer had to pay outrageous prices for her insulin. She found out that in Germany, everyone gets the same level of healthcare. Those that can and choose to do so, can get their own private health insurance. Those that can't, they benefit from the social system. It sounds very much like the Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX. You pay based on income, but you still get the same level of care. Maybe we should be looking closer at their system, since it apparently works.

  • Karen Jones Cody

    07/01/2019 02:44 PM

    I just read the comments about health care from Alan S. who retired from the military. I wish every person living in America had to read this and sit for a couple of hours and let it sink in. I can't understand how anyone can think citizens are going to be gifted with the necessities of life, all free -- it makes my head spin. Thank you, Alan, for trying to explain the reality, and Governor Huckabee, thank you for always being a voice of reason in a world that seems to be going crazy.

  • Sue J Prill

    07/01/2019 02:12 PM

    It is interesting that this “Medicare for all” is being touted as “free” with no copays or deductibles. As a retired physician, I am on Medicare and pay almost $600/mo to have it, which covers 80% of my expenses. My supplement is another $1400/year and I DO have a yearly deductible. I worked every year of my life from the age of 18 and still, at 71, work part time. I put myself through college and medical school and paid back all my student loans, worked while in school and paid every year into social security and Medicare. And now you want me to pay more taxes so I can support the population that thinks they should be given what I got with hard work? Nope, think not!

  • David Colonna

    07/01/2019 09:11 AM

    Alan S. God bless you my brother who served our country well. My older son is in the Army National Guard and he too supports Tricare, which I have no problem paying for with my taxes, all our current military and veterans should be given the best healthcare ever, especially over any illegals or even those who are here on Visas. We need to stop giving free access to those who come here illegally and to the politicians who say illegals pay taxes prove it... Most of the illegals get paid by cash or even checks and never ever claim those earnings. The only taxes they pay are sales taxes and property taxes if they own a home. This is a drop in the bucket compared to our federal and state income taxes. BUILD THAT WALL NICE AND HIGH!

  • Linda Olds

    07/01/2019 05:37 AM

    Of course Medicare and Tricare should continue for those who earned it.
    Illegal aliens (I will not call them 'undocumented', as some parts of the country are giving them driver's licenses) should only get emergency care if necessary, then should be deported.
    It's ridiculous to even talk about "Medicare for all citizens"; downright crazy for illegals.
    Those on the left keep pushing the idea that countries like Canada and Britain have free or low cost medical care for all. For one thing, they mix up medical care with medical insurance. Their medical insurance and care are not free; they are paid for by high taxes. Their medical care is rationed, because they can't get enough money to pay for things that we consider normal care. Britain's NHS is refusing to pay for cataract surgery, even though it would help prevent the cost of falls. They don't think it's worth it for elderly people to be able to see. They have even prevented children from going to other countries to get special care not available in their country. The parents are forced to keep their children in hospitals there, where they die. You'd think it would be cheaper to let them go, but I guess they are embarrassed.
    Rich people from Canada and Britain get private medical care, or even come to the U.S. for some conditions.
    We can't allow liberals to change our system to be like these "socialism light" countries!

  • Tom Johns

    07/01/2019 12:49 AM

    Dear Mike,

    It seems like from my days in school, which were decades ago, we were given a quote that said, "When people in a democracy start to realize that they can vote in people who will give them lots of free things, that is the beginning of the end of the democracy." Do you remember that quote? Maybe it can be found and used. Or maybe it can just be used. These Socialists are wanting to force everyone to pay for what we don't need or for what it way too expensive. It will break the US as it's broken other countries. We need more common sense in Washington.

  • Carol J Mathews

    06/30/2019 11:17 PM

    Medicare for All is a misnomer because it is assumed that it is free government medical care which it is not. Before Medicare came into being, my husband's former company paid for the insurance for retirees and it was the same as the working man. About 3 years after Medicare, retirees were dropped so when he retired we had to pick up the Medicare and a supplement to cover the 20% NOT covered by Medicare. For $89.00 a month from my husbands paycheck we had red carpet insurance, no deductibles, eye care,
    dental care and even a $5000 term life policy. After retirement we pay $130 each from our SS checks, $89 for his RX, and $582 (which goes up each year by age) for the supplement. No eye coverage, no dental. If you go to the hospital for emergencies or any other treatments, and/or out patient and are not admitted and you are given a pill for pain, etc. and you use your own hands to take it, you will be charged per pill because Medicare does not cover anything that you can take yourself. They can and do charge $30 for even an aspirin. If you need surgery such as back, leg etc. you may very well be told that before the surgery is approved you have to go through physical therapy, or shot treatment before it is approved. They will put you off an long as possible. Medicare waste more money preventing a procedure than the procedure actually cost. That is how government works.
    The list goes on but you can see the picture. We are much worse off on Medicare than we ever were on the company sponsored insurance. I know not all companies offer medical insurance and that is a problem and some of the policies are very expensive especially if the ocmpany is small, but if the government had stayed out of the insurance business, one can only imagine what a better world we might have had.
    You put many million more people on the "free" plan and see what it will cost then. Many a senior person makes a decision between their medicine and food or even going to the doctor when they are sick because of the deductibles and/or the 20% not covered. Just think how much 20% of $10-25,000 dollars can be if you have surgery on Medicare. Most surgeries are much more than that.
    Maybe it would be helpful, and President Trump should have several people to speak on what the actual cost to a person on Medicare is compared to private insurance and also let them tell all that they have been denied when it wasn't approved.

  • Carol b

    06/30/2019 08:03 PM

    Many have already stated important points. I was stunned to learn that I had to pay a premium for Medicare. What about all the money that was taken out of my paycheck for decades? I also had to get a supplemental, and still, meds I have to take for a chronic condition are not fully covered. Nor, is all of my annual check up and blood work. Yet, Medicare is still taken out of my paycheck! These Dems want to give illegals Medicare, free abortions, etc. When is someone going to look out for the American citizen who has worked all their life, or served in the Military ??? Am I going to get all the money back that I put in???

  • Kathi Andrews

    06/30/2019 05:05 PM

    As a 33-year US Army Veteran who was promised Tricare-for-Life, it came as quite a shock when I was told that upon turning 65 it was mandatory for me to enroll in a Medicare supplement program (to the tune of no less than $140 per month out of a $900 Social Security payment), or I would forfeit my TFL! So I went from paying NO monthly premium to paying $140 a month for something that I really don’t need. What a crock! There is no way I would ever support Medicare-for-All and most especially NOT for illegal aliens!!! They’re not immigrants! They’re not refugees! They’re not US citizens! They are illegal aliens and the US owes them nothing!!!

  • Peter Rhoads

    06/30/2019 04:54 PM

    I can only echo the comments by Alex S.
    I served 23 years in the U.S. Air Force (including 2 combat/flying tours) and was promised free medical care for life until our esteemed Congress decided otherwise. I now pay almost $400 per month for me and my wife for Medicare, as well as having paid into it during our entire working life after leaving the service. Yes, we have Tricare for Life, but that is an EARNED benefit and is supplemental to Medicare.
    And now Bernie and all the other tax-and-spenders want to give free medical benefits to people who have no right to be here in the first place? Who did nothing to earn them? Well, if being categorically opposed to this bit of insanity makes me a racist troglodyte - so be it!
    When will someone in the media muster a tiny bit of backbone and tell these morons that there is no such thing as a free lunch!

  • Amelia Little

    06/30/2019 03:48 PM

    Thank you, Alan, for your service, and thank you to other commenters who served, also. If I were going to pick a section of society that truly received medical (top-notch) care without further payment from those people, it would be our veterans. As for government run health care, I think those running the VA have, at times, and at different hospitals, fallen severely in the type of care provided, and certainly fallen in the timeliness of their receiving care.

    I know young people who tout the free-college, free-health insurance, they have closed their ears about the price tag they will be paying through their taxes. They shrug it off. So, after a free college education, are they going to get a job in their field? And, they aren't going to start with a 6 figure salary. Response--big deal. They aren't going to be any better off financially after they get in the real world/work place because of the taxes. Response--that's okay. Just smh. I think all these young people who have been fed socialism also need to spend maybe 5 years living in a socialist country. Not as a tourist or visitor, but living and working amongst the real people. Wonder if their eyes would be opened.

    As for the politicians--they should have to be subject to EVERYTHING they mandate for us (I do think there is a law about that, which, like whatever laws they don't like, they ignore.) That included--only SS--those of us going on SS get 1/2 or less of what we were getting when we retired. They would still be a whole lot farther ahead then most of us--most people I know didn't get to $174,000/year. Maybe a married couple might make that much. Anyway, they should no longer get insurance (and you know theirs is top-notch) paid for BY WE THE PEOPLE, but have to take what the rest of us are relegated to. Especially since there are times when they certainly aren't earning their salary or their benefits. Most of them have been in congress so long they have forgotten how it was to be a part of the working class--and there are some who never worked before being elected.

  • Jim Lyon

    06/30/2019 03:33 PM

    I totally agree with Alan S. I didn't retire from the service but I did my three and free. I'm a Vietnam Veteran with PTSD and some issues associated with Agent Orange. I'm 90% disabled per the VA. I rarely use the VA medical facilities because of well know issues with the VA. I'm am old enough to have Medicare for which I paid for during my 40+ career in the private sector and still pay for. Medicare for all just won't work. Sooner or later, the Democrat/Socialists will run out of our money. Thanks for being a voice of reason. God Bless you.

  • Vanessa Guyette

    06/30/2019 02:50 PM

    I have been a part of the healthcare field since 1980. My husband is also a physician and we have seen first hand the changes in healthcare over so many years. One of the main problems currently is the survival of small hospitals being in jeopardy and mid size hospitals being managed or bought out by large conglomerates. If prices are high now, we need to consider how much more they may rise if "free" healthcare for all becomes a reality. In areas that have an older population and also many who have Medicaid, the percentage of those who need medical care and have those plans may be 80%, as it is in a small hospital that my husband has been a part of for almost 30 years. It is a great little nonprofit with some fantastic doctors and employees. We are an hour from another hospital that is mid size and almost three hours away from a large hospital. It is the same or even a greater distance for so many small hospitals. The thing keeping the hospital open and able to provide services is the private pay insurance companies that a small percentage of patients have. It is what pays the bills when government healthcare only pays a very small percentage of what the hospital charges and fights against every charge. It can take many months to ever receive any payment. This has certainly become a much larger problem over the last decade. That is one of the driving forces behind increased prices for patients. If the majority of the money to run a hospital or clinic is drastically cut, that amount must increase to attempt to cover costs. Most hospitals are nonprofit and not getting wealthy by charging increased prices. The same has happened to most physicians too, if they take patients with Medicare and Medicaid. They are punished for doing so, and it often means no profit from those patients. Now imagine the same being true for all and there being no way to stay in business with that patient base. It will limit services and lead to fewer hospitals and less care. We will be the country where those who have money or can raise it will travel to other countries. We are already seeing a reduction in those interested in becoming physicians. They don't want to deal with the great frustration involved with receiving any payment and the increased red tape and hoops to jump through. People are angry because they believe the providers of care are getting rich, rather than knowing the game the government agencies play that drive this cost increase. I'm not saying there aren't some who take advantage of patients, but the number is very small. I completely agree with the comment from the veteran who certainly earned any benefit he or she receives. I also agree that Medicare being thought of as an entitlement is completely false and only should be provided by those who have paid for it their entire working lives. Respect to the writer and thank you for your service.