Kansas City grandma worries about Medicare
A senior citizen holds a sign during a rally to protect federal health programs. In this election year, commentator Emma Williams fears the health care program for seniors and the disabled will become a political football.
Kai Ryssdal: Alabama and Mississippi had the big primaries today. We came across an interesting statistic in the course of our election research the other day. More than a third of the people those two states get publicly funded health care through either Medicare or Medicaid. That gets us to today's commentary.
This week we've asked regular people -- not analysts or pundits or journalists --what they want out of this election.
Emma Williams: My name is Emma Williams. I'm 61 years old. I'd like the candidates to know that they should leave Medicare alone.
Medicare for me is very important because I'm not the healthiest person in the world. Like I said, I'm 61 years old. And with age comes diseases. I'm hypertensive. I have diabetes.
Being able to get the health care that I need is very important to me. I'm now on Medicare, Medicaid totally because I'm disabled because of my back. We worked for this Medicare. We've worked many years. I myself for 30 years, I worked for this money.
And the money's dwindling because they used our money up. They're wanting to pull from Medicare for this, and drop this. What happens when the care that I need is no longer available? What happens? And not just for me, for everybody in the United States that's on Medicare, on Medicaid. I'm really afraid that, it's going to be a lot of cutbacks. At one time I was without insurance of any kind and I had to pay for medications out of my pockets and it was a nightmare. So I won't complain, but like I said, it frightens me with this election year. Where is the Medicare and Medicaid going?
Ryssdal: Emma Williams is retired. She's a grandmother in Kansas City, Mo. Her story was produced for us by Sylvia Maria Gross. Let us know what matters most to this election -- write to us.