Updated 09/13/2012 06:40 PM
Seniors react to federal health care plan options
As we get closer to November, the issue of health care will certainly be one the most talked about issues for candidates. President Obama's Affordable Care Act would require everyone to have insurance, while Republicans, like Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, are talking about moving to a voucher system. Well, what do those seniors think? As our Brian Dwyer found out, the feelings are mixed.
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Tony Montoro Jr. is the president of the New York Chapters of Active and Retired Federal Employees. When it comes to health care, especially for his members, he wants everyone informed. He say his organization has done its homework and at events like this senior fair in Watertown, he just cannot recommend supporting a voucher plan. Especially not knowing what that voucher would be and if it would scale up to match rising health care costs.
"You get two to three years into a plan like that and let’s say the voucher amount stays at a steady $4,000 a year. Maybe our premiums have gone up anywhere from $50 to $100 a month," Montoro Jr. said.
As for the seniors just walking around here, they admit they do not have the answers, but the choices that are available, well, they say it leaves a little something to be desired.
"I am not in favor of a voucher system," one person said.
"I am not in favor of the ObamaCare," said another.
Carol Herzig says vouchers aren't for her, but she has absolutely no desire to have to buy her own insurance or face penalties if she doesn't.
"I know there are those who suffer without insurance and things. I've been there, but I just think there's another way. I don't know what it is," Herzig said.
Charles Burns says while he agrees the President's plan isn't perfect, he says for him, it's a much better option than vouchers, which he says could bleed Medicare dry.
"How many companies are going to take people my age with pre-existing health conditions. I'm an example of that in, since I've retired, I've had four heart catherizations and a pace maker defibrillator. I could under no circumstances afford that without insurance," Burns said.
Burns says he'd prefer the traditional Medicare system and told us "If we can send out a Mars rover, certainly we have someone smart enough to fix the fraud and abuse."
Montoro Jr. says he believes that over time, requiring primary care could save as much money as a voucher system as it would limit doctor changes and unnecessary emergency room visits.