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Increases in Medicare

October 05, 1987

Reagan's proposal to increase Medicare premiums by 38.5% is consistent with the Administration's earlier assertion that the elderly as a group are financially secure.

Yet the truth flies in the face of this misconception.

Close to 43% of Americans 65 and over have incomes of below $10,000 a year. Medicare currently pays for only about 40% of the elderly's escalating health care costs. And today, older Americans are paying more out-of-pocket for medical care than they did in the mid-1960s prior to the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid.

The proposed dramatic increase in premiums is another example of an ill-conceived policy that will hit hardest those who can least afford it.

MEREDITH MINKLER

Berkeley

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