Drug plan changes frightening seniors

I am writing in response to the Advocate’s Feb. 18 story, headlined Seniors concerned, about proposed changes to drug plan coverage for Alberta seniors.

I am writing in response to the Advocate’s Feb. 18 story, headlined Seniors concerned, about proposed changes to drug plan coverage for Alberta seniors.

You bet your life that seniors are concerned. I agree with Shirley Challoner and Shirley Thomas that this is just another step towards private health care.

I too, when working, tried to put a little money aside for the “golden years,” hoping retirement would be easier. We were encouraged at that time to take on RRSPs. Only when we became 71, did we realize that these had to be cashed or turned in RIFs and then we realized that these RIF payments are taxable, even though it is your own money.

These payments, added to your OAS pension, Canada pension, and work pension if you have one, can push you a little over the amount you’re allowed to have for income, to qualify for free prescriptions.

Nobody is really asking for free prescriptions. Just leave things the way they are by treating all seniors equal. Why penalize those that worked just because they earned a small pension?

The thought of some seniors paying $400 to $500 a month for medications is scary. What will happen is, they won’t be bought.

People will go without if they have to and finish up in emergency and in the hospital so then they will get their medications for a while anyway.

My last comment is, will Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski stand by and let this happen?

Hilda Farmer

Red Deer

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