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Medicaid-Medicare dual eligibility debated

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants to shift some of Medicaid’s soaring costs to New York City [“N.Y. State Faces $6 Billion Deficit,” News, Jan. 10]. But there’s a better solution. End the state’s dual-eligibility policy, which allows people 65 and older to get health care coverage from both Medicare and Medicaid. It’s a double-dipping disgrace that rips off taxpayers. New York is one of 34 states that allow dual eligibility.

Among roughly 44 million Medicare beneficiaries nationwide, several million also qualify for Medicaid.

But those who receive full coverage under both programs account for a disproportionate share of all Medicaid and Medicare spending, notes AARP. Medicaid was initially intended to cover healthcare costs for low-income people until they reach the age of 65. That’s when Medicare should replace, not supplement, Medicaid. As a Medicare recipient and taxpayer, I resent those who game the system. They can have Medicare or Medicaid, but not both. Stop dual-eligibility deception.

Richard Reif,

Kew Gardens Hills 


Simply put, New York’s considering ending Medicare privileges for spouses [“‘Spousal refusal’ in state’s sights,” News, Feb. 24] is ridiculous. A nursing home could cost about $15,000 a month, so a couple could lose life savings in six months.

Consider, too, the type of care one receives at some of these “skilled facilities,” which I sadly learned from firsthand knowledge and experience. Some people don’t get proper care, and what about the spouse left at home?

This idea is outrageous.

Judy Monahan,

West Babylon