San Diego

Health Insurance Legislation Has Seniors in Nervous Condition

Santee resident, who voted for President Trump, said she's worried her healthcare would get cut off.

As the lawmaking process over repealing and replacing Obamacare runs into more problems, it’s not boosting the hopes of people most in need of manageable premiums and competitive coverage.

For them, as they hear more news out of the nation’s capital, their future in terms of their money and their medical needs is getting scarier for many.

Among them, Santee resident Kelly Paradise, who has a pacemaker, chronic pancreatitis, a broken hip and another one that's pained her for years.

“I’m on assisted living; that’s going to be cut,” she told NBC 7 in an interview Tuesday. “So I’m going to be paying more.”

Paradise’s financial life, on a fixed income at age 72, is a long way from her youthful background in the 1960s as a professional model, actress in a lot of beach-and-surf films, and then as a property manager.

She’s a registered independent who voted for Trump, in part because she thought highly of replacing Obamacare.

“And the Democrats kept saying, ‘Let’s see it’,” she recalled. “If you’ve been working two years, there’s got to be at least a framework. And like his taxes, it was never seen.”

Now Paradise has angry second thoughts, because what's she's heard about the new health coverage proposals isn't squaring with her harsh budget realities.

She says they favor the rich over the low-income, who stand to face scary sacrifices.

"You get your Medicare. And then what you can't afford, MediCal steps in and pays for it,” she explained. “Well, what he wants to do is 'ixnay' MediCal, and have us pay for it. Well, could you live on $900 a month?"

If worse comes to worst, Paradise shared this thought: "I'll use the emergency room like a doctor's office. If I can't find a doctor's help, I'll use an emergency room. Which is terrible, because we need the emergency room for emergencies."

Meantime, the House Budget Committee meets Thursday to merge separate bills in one to go the floor of the House for a final vote.

Key members are being guarded about how they're lining up.

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