To the editor:
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump made a crystal-clear pledge to protect Medicare and Social Security. Now, as his term begins, older voters are counting on Congress to support President Trump’s vow. This issue is looming because some in Congress are pushing for a drastic change in Medicare that threatens to increase costs and risks for those who depend on it.
Proposals to create a voucher system, sometimes called premium support, could drive up costs that the 1.3 million New Jersey residents who are now in Medicare have to pay out of their own pockets. And the pain will spread, as another 1.8 million of our state’s older residents enroll in Medicare over the next 15 years.
Americans have earned their Medicare benefits by paying taxes throughout their working lives. As our new president declared last year, “You made a deal a long time ago.” That deal does not include cutting benefits and pushing up health care bills at a time in life when people can least afford it.
For more than half a century, Medicare has delivered on its promise, bringing health care to seniors who were once shut out of the system. Yes, health care costs must be contained – but in a fair and responsible way, not by harming hard-working Americans and retirees. President Trump understands this vital principle, and we urge him to remind those in Congress who do not.