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Folks reflect on Medicare during its 48th anniversary

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Forty-eight years ago on Tuesday, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. Folks in Hazard reflected on what Medicare has done in their lives. Some say they would not be able to survive without it.

For more than four and a half decades, millions of folks have used Medicare.

"If I didn't have Medicare, I couldn't go to the doctor, so medicare has helped me a lot," said Christine Barnett, who has been using Medicare for two years.

Bonita Logan has been using Medicare for eight years. She has had several surgeries and says she does not know what she would be doing without it.

"I can't even imagine because with the surgeries and everything, and with the problems with my back I wouldn't have been able to work. And I'm in my 70's and I wouldn't be able to work," Logan said.

Some say Medicare has probably extended their life.

"To tell the truth, I guess I would just have to stay home and die," said Effie Wagers, who has been using Medicare for 13 years.

But one attorney says people need to be careful whenever doing paperwork for health insurance, including Medicare. Heidi Hopfensperger says you should always start by finding someone who understands the process.

"You want to talk to them about 'What am I signing? What is in front of me?' Do you fully understand it? If you don't, ask more questions," said Hopfensperger.

Medicare guarantees affordable health care to more than 50 million Americans, but it is facing long-term financial challenges.

Hopfensperger says there is a good website for people with questions concerning Medicare.

The link is http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare.html .


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