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Letter: Medicare a federal program that everyone pays into

Published on December 29, 2017 2:30PM

Last changed on January 1, 2018 3:24PM

I’m writing in regards to the front page of the Dec. 27 edition of the East Oregonian regarding upcoming state ballot measure 101 on funding for Oregon’s Medicaid program.

The reporter referenced Medicare which is a healthcare plan for those aged 65 and over. The article stated that Medicare is funded “solely by the federal government.” I beg to differ with that statement.

Medicare Part A is funded solely by deductions from the paychecks of working American citizens. Review your paycheck stub — there is a line item showing a dollar amount deducted for the employee Medicare. This is not a program gifted by the federal government, but rather it is (prepaid) healthcare, paid for by every working American citizen via payroll tax deductions.

Furthermore, while Medicare Part A begins at age 65, Medicare Part B is paid for by the individual, as is Medigap Plan (which covers the 20 percent not paid by either Medicare A or B) as well as a Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. There is no funding for any part of Medicare coming form the federal government in any way, shape or form. It is all paid for by the individual Medicare recipient in one manner or another.

Medicare is not an entitlement benefit any more than Social Security or unemployment benefits. Our dollars paid out of our paychecks or personal funds — no federal dollars. Plus, where do any federal dollars for anything come from? None other than us by way of our tax contributions.

Pamela Johnson Duso



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