Letter: Medicare and Social Security are not entitlements

This image provided by Medicare.gov shows a generic Medicare card. The government says it’s on track to meet a 2019 deadline for replacing Social Security numbers on Medicare cards with randomly generated digits and letters to protect seniors against identity theft. (Medicare.gov via AP)

We need to change the term used for Social Security and Medicare. They are not “entitlements.” Entitlement suggests a benefit that is given without merit. Excuse me. I have paid for my Social Security throughout my working life. My Social Security is taxed, and my Medicare payment is subtracted from my Social Security check each month.

A provision in the Senate’s tax bill that Medicare recipients will no longer have cancer treatments paid for by Medicare is a breach of contract. The same for Social Security; this is a retirement insurance policy paid over the years. If an insurance company in the private sector were to deny or lessen coverage it would be sued and put out of business.

Representatives and senators have taken themselves out of these programs and enacted their own medical and retirement coverages. With the sweet programs they enjoy, they do not realize how the rest of us in the country live and plan for retirement.

It may take time for Congress to fully understand the importance of Medicare and Social Security to the nation. But, immediately we must insist the term “entitlement” be eliminated from any discussion concerning Medicare and Social Security.

Rolayne Fairclough, Salt Lake City

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