Friday, June 8, 2012

Punished for Success? Of Course, It’s the New America!

           Can I vent?  Just a little?  First understand that I retired from the Air Force Reserve in 2010 after serving a total of over 20 years in active and reserve services.  The commitment required that I do two weeks straight each year, then twelve days through the rest of the year.  As a solo veterinarian, I had to hire a relieve vet every time I served, and that meant I lost money each day I went to the Reserve.  But, I thought, I will get the great retired military health insurance benefit, Tricare, in the end, so beside my patriotic bent to repay my country for the privilege of being born here, it was worth it.

            Tricare is great.  Pays for just about everything.  But wait, I turned 65 in April 2012, and in October 2011 I was notified that I HAD TO SIGN UP for Medicare.  I said, “I don’t want to.  I have Tricare.”  After all, it’s all coming out of the same Treasury, isn’t it?  No, I had to sign up for Medicare Parts A and B.  So, I thought, OK, I’ll jump through one more hoop just to satisfy our government’s requirement.  No problem, right?  After all, I’ve been paying most of my life into the fund for Medicare anyway, so I deserve the benefits.

            Not so fast.  In February 2012 I received an invoice for Medicare coverage from 4/1/12 to 6/30/13 for $299.70 ($99.90 per month).  What the?  Tricare wasn’t costing me anything, and now I have to PAY for Medicare?  This sucks!  But, wait, there’s more.  In March I received a letter stating that my monthly premium would be $319.70 beginning April 2012.  Next I received a letter stating that if I made too much money, there would be additional charges.  The maximum is $219.80 for Part B and $66.40 for prescription drug coverage.  Yesterday I received a bill for Medicare coverage 7/1/12 through 9/30/12 for $1,618.50 ($539.50 per month)!!!

               I went online to see if I could withdraw from Medicare.  Nope, Bill Clinton signed a 
law that forbids it.  I sent an e-mail to a man that wrote an article, “Medicare Is Mandatory,” and asked him if there is anything I can do.  He replied, “Sorry to hear about this. My only advice is to do whatever you can to turn back socialism before it gets even worse.”  (He doesn’t know I DID run for federal office, twice.)

            My wife will be taking last year’s income tax return to the Social Security office to see about getting this “adjusted.”  I can’t take time off work to do it myself, and I work six days a week.  What do you think?  Should I quit, shut down and put five other people out of work?  I’d love to, just so that I could minimize the tax stolen from me by my government (yes, stolen at the point of a gun).  In the past ten years I’ve paid well over a million dollars in tax to our thrifty government.  Who would better spend that money, me or Washington?

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