AARP Wants Medicare to Stay the Same

AARP presenter Wayne Schatz. (Photo by Pat Blair)
AARP presenter Wayne Schatz. (Photo by Pat Blair)

There are problems with Medicare, but overall, AARP wants Medicare to remain the same, and the organization for senior citizens sees dangers in House Speaker Paul Ryan's proposed Premium Support model for the health coverage.

Wayne Schatz, with the local AARP chapter, said under Premium Support, also called the voucher system, people on Medicare would be provided with a lump sum of money and they would have to shop around for an insurance provider.

In a presentation at the Senior Center Tuesday night, Schatz said the problem with a voucher system for small states like Wyoming is illustrated by current issues with Medicare Part B.

He said that problem would be magnified if Ryan's proposed system was approved to replace the existing Medicare system. Schatz said more than 89,000 people, about 15 percent of the state's population, are currently covered by Medicare, and nearly 119,000 Wyomingites, about 20 percent, will transition into Medicare over the next 15 years.

He said many Medicare beneficiaries are in poor health and could face increased financial distress under Ryan's proposed program, and many of those have low incomes and would be at risk for catastrophic out-of-pocket costs under the plan.

Schatz said President Trump did say he would leave Medicare and Social Security as they currently are, and Ryan's voucher system is still in the proposal stage. He said AARP wants to encourage Ryan to leave Medicare as it is, and the organization has put out petitions calling for Medicare to stay the same.

Schatz said the best policy would be for Medicare and Social Security to remain unchanged. He urged those at the Senior Center presentation to take an interest in their Medicare coverage and be aware of what's happening.

View more photos below.

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Only a small group attended the presentation. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Only a small group attended the presentation. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Schatz answering a question. (Photo by Pat Blair0
Schatz answering a question. (Photo by Pat Blair0
SheridanWyoming.com

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