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Letter of the week—August 27th, 2012

Dear Mr. President,

For years, my husband and I earned a decent living through our profession and our small business. We paid our share of taxes and made contributions to Social Security and other programs. Later in life, we are faced with financial losses, an economic recession, and a loss of revenue except for Social Security benefits. We are not victims. But I do not believe the wealthy understand the plight of the American majority. Perhaps my experience will help others understand why Medicare and programs like it are critical to a healthy America: We are a community.

I had not had a mammogram for five years because it was unaffordable with both my husband and I out of work. Our small management consulting business has struggled during this recession, and the only health coverage that we could afford for me was major medical. When I turned 65 this year, I was eligible for Medicare, and I was able to have a mammogram as part of the health prevention program. It was discovered that I had breast cancer, and I was advised to get a full bilateral mastectomy. Without Medicare benefits, I would not have been diagnosed and I would not have been able to pay for any major surgery. Medicare saved my life.

—Betty, Nevada

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