Carole Hood is battling both bone cancer and breast cancer. Right now, Medicare pays for her treatment, but she fears the burden will fall on her if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
“[Medicare] has always done the best and if they cut that, I don’t know what I would do,” Hood said. The Virginia woman moved to Monroe’s Brookdale assisted living facility to be closer to her son and does not want to burden her family if the costs end up falling on her.
It is not just her.
“We have a number of friends who are on a very limited fixed income. Any increase of any kind is very catastrophic to them,” Jack Johnson said at the Northshore Senior Center in Bothell.
Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) brought cake to seniors in Monroe and Bothell on Saturday morning to celebrate the 51st anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, which falls this month.
“It’s disappointing we're even having a conversation about cuts and this bill proposed – the bill in the House and the bill in the Senate – would be devastating for folks using Medicare and devastating for Medicaid as well,” Rep. DelBene said, explaining the cuts would amount to $75 billion from Medicare and $750 from Medicaid.
A spokesperson for Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA) said the focus is on Medicaid – the program thought to help the poorest Americans -- not Medicare – the health insurance plan for Americans aged 65 and older.
He also voted ‘no’ on the House bill, but said he is still working to fix “a broken system” while “protecting the most vulnerable in our communities,” including older adults.
Some seniors are not sounding the alarm yet.
“This country is 320 million people. I think we can take care of 22 million people. 47 we're not going to leave them, we're not going to throw anybody under the bus,” Kirkland’s Greg Sheehan, an independent, said, referring to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of uninsured adults under the Senate Republican bill released Monday.
But under the bus is exactly where Hood believes she’ll end up.
“I have little crying spells a lot. It would really affect me a lot,” she said.
Senate Majority leaders intend to resume efforts to replace Obamacare after the July 4th recess.