Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sun, July 21

Letter: Medicare considers elderly expendable

Hillary Clinton referred to anyone who was for now-President Trump as deplorables.

Medicare has declared war on those of us who are over 75 and refer to us as expendables!

At least that is certainly how it seems.

I’ve heard more and more seniors complain that once they were over 75 Medicare started denying them whatever treatment or medications they needed. Medicare denies a lot of pain medications to the elderly because they “could become addicted.”

You’ve seen letters to the newspaper about it lately. You’ve read about several people who committed suicide because they were in so much pain from failed back surgeries, bone diseases, numerous injuries – including our vets of any age – and were denied the pain medications ordered by their doctors.

True, some medications are addictive. However, if you are 75 -80 years old and need one or two pain pills a day or night to keep the pain at a tolerable level, isn’t it more humane to give you the medication rather than keep you in such pain that you can’t live with it?

I have a friend who has COPD, plus congestive heart failure. This friend was denied the oxygen ordered by her physician by trained human robots at Medicare. They are not doctors or nurses. They have no medical training or background. They are taught to delay and deny any and all treatments they possibly can to anyone 75 years old or older.

It’s as if the elderly are not human and can’t feel pain, or worse yet, are undeserving of pain relief, needed medical procedures that could ease the pain or save their lives. It’s as if they have outlived their usefulness or should not have the oxygen needed to keep them breathing. They are Medicare employees, they are not God. How dare they decide who lives or who dies in agony?

Another friend had a failed back surgery. This person gets pain relief from injections. She had one injection in September and now, six months later, needs another one. Going six months with pain reduced to a tolerable level made it possible to live an almost normal life. Now, Medicare has denied the doctor’s request for another injection, saying this person must try physical therapy before being allowed another injection.

Is two injections a year too much to be able to live at a tolerable pain level? Worse yet, she had physical therapy last year, which Medicare paid for, and it didn’t work well enough or long enough, therefore, causing the need for the first injection.

Medicare, in their great wisdom, would rather pay for another round of physical therapy, which has already proven not to work, rather than to pay for an injection that has proven to work for this patient.

There are a lot of us over 75 “expendables” out there. We all need to contact our state representatives and senators and ask them to plead with Dr. Price, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, and let him know what is happening under the current management (actually mismanagement).

If we are expendable now what will the people running Medicare be in the future? Oh, I forgot, they have government health coverage and don’t have to worry about Medicare.


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