A number of years ago, I was diagnosed with multifocal motor neuropathy — a disorder that has slowly taken the use of my hands and arms. As my disability worsened, I decided that, at 65 years of age, retirement would be my best option. In doing calculations, my financial survival depended upon the continuation of Social Security, Medicare and medical insurance at my pre-retirement levels. I had been contributing to these safeguards my entire adult life. I thought I was safe.

A few years ago, I was placed on a costly medication that significantly slowed the progress of the disease. When a new medication appeared hopeful, it was tried, but it soon became apparent that it was not effective and, in a matter of a few weeks, I lost the function of my hands. Consequently, I returned to my previous treatment and, within a few days, I had recovered to my previous state. It was a frightening experience.

Recent events have placed me in significantly jeopardy. Losing even part of my safety net will make me more disabled. At present, I am capable of caring for myself, yet even a slight change to Social Security or Medicare will cause me great harm.

Cataclysmic medical events wait behind every door. Nobody is immune, and a person’s best efforts cannot prepare him or her well enough as an individual.

Our elected representatives should support, not reduce, the safety net taxpayers have paid to have in place.

Earl Morse, Waterford

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