In closely following the race for the 10th Congressional District, I found something alarming when researching Democrat Jose Hernandez. He told the Modesto Bee on Sept. 15 that he would fix Medicare by allowing anyone over 50 to purchase coverage through Medicare rather than private insurance.
This was a bad idea, considered and abandoned by congressional Democrats when crafting the Affordable Care Act because it would accelerate the insolvency of the Medicare trust fund and put current seniors at risk.
Access to Medicare is already at risk because of the low reimbursement rates provided to doctors and hospitals, many of whom already refuse new Medicare patients. Health care providers can only see Medicare patients because they shift the cost to individuals with private plans and can be prohibitively expensive, as the AARP has concluded.
My mother living in Nevada, who is on Medicare, has had to wait for more than three weeks to get a doctor appointment for a very painful leg problem because of this very same financial problem related to Medicare. Adding millions of people to Medicare will make this cost-shifting worse and cause health care premiums to increase for the rest of the population.
Hernandez’s idea of having healthy younger workers buy into a program that they are already funding through payroll taxes shows he has a lot to learn before he is fit to be my Congressman. There is no way Jose is getting my vote.