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Letter: Medicare headed for meltdown

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According to the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, the Medicare trust fund will become insolvent in 2017. They received their information from the Medicare trustees' official report, which warns that that financial meltdown will require "an immediate 134 percent increase in the payroll tax... or an immediate 53 percent reduction in program outlays, or some combination of the two."

Actually, in all likelihood, the meltdown will come earlier than 2017. The current push for another government-run health care program is only distracting from saving Medicare.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that one portion of the proposed health care program will cost $1 trillion over 10 years and will only insure about l6 million out of the 50 million uninsured Americans. That figures out to $6,250 per person per year. And the worst part is, that that is 33 per cent greater than the national average individual annual health insurance premium cost of $4,700 per year. Since the original projections for Medicare costs were lower than the actual costs, we can be reasonably certain that the actual government health care costs would also be larger than the original projections. (In 1990 Medicare was projected to cost $12 billion, but the actual cost was $107 billion).

We face a truly dire situation which could grind our economy to a halt if President Obama is successful in rushing Congress into passing his nationalized health care plan. It would be wise for all of us to contact our Congressmen to encourage them to forget about adding to our deficit and health care problems by passing the proposed national health care and concentrate instead on fixing the Medicare situation.

Evelyn A. Guggisberg

Starbuck

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