To the Editor:
Rhode Island seniors should applaud Elmer Gardiner of Warwick for his efforts to get an increase in the state’s contribution to the Medicare Plan B premium support (Gardiner urges state to increase income threshold for Medicare, Sept. 4, 2012). As Mr. Gardiner has noted, seniors in Rhode Island, many on fixed incomes, pay Medicare Plan B premiums that are significantly higher than premiums in some other New England states.
Health care costs are budget busters, especially for senior citizens. These costs can be made less painful if state officials raise the support level for Plan B premiums as Elmer proposes, and as they are permitted to do under federal law.
Those of us who advocate for vulnerable populations in Rhode Island, support Elmer’s campaign to raise the Medicare Plan B premium support. As Elmer noted in the Warwick Beacon and its sister papers in Cranston and Johnston, “I know 100 bucks a month is not big money, but it’s a help to people who are struggling.” Let’s all of us join Elmer in his effort to lessen the struggle for our senior citizens.
John J. Colby, Ph.D.