Letter: Senator Manchin Support of Medicare Advantage Helps Retired Teachers and other Senior Citizens

August 17, 2023

Originally published in Lootpress

In today’s age of hyper-partisanship, when many elected officials vote along party lines, there are still leaders like Senator Joe Manchin, who has proven to be an exception to the rule, focusing on the issues affecting constituents in his state. One recent example is his signing onto a bipartisan support letter with 60 other senators, urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to protect Medicare Advantage for the more than 31 million American seniors and people with disabilities who choose it, including folks like me right here in the Mountain State.

As a senior living on a fixed income, I rely on Medicare Advantage for high-quality coverage. I appreciate my plan because it gives me the best possible care available at the most affordable price, and almost 200,000 of my fellow West Virginians agree. Like me, many of them are enrolled in Medicare Advantage because they are retirees covered by the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

Medicare Advantage caters to seniors from all parts of the country, offering critical services, including innovative telehealth, for enrollees living in rural areas. I am glad to have this option, which could allow me to meet with providers from the comfort of my home, saving me a trip to the doctor’s office. Additionally, while I am blessed to live a healthy and active life well into retirement, I still must take a few medications. I appreciate that my Medicare Advantage plan comes with comprehensive prescription drug coverage, which is a great benefit.

I am glad that many of our leaders in Washington like Senator Manchin understand all the different ways that Medicare Advantage delivers value to seniors, and I am thankful that they are fighting to ensure the program remains strong.

Senator Manchin has built a reputation for doing what is right for his constituents. His support for Medicare Advantage is making life better for seniors like me. Thank you, Senator, for being a champion for seniors and disabled West Virginians. As we look ahead to the future, these are the kind of priorities we will look for in our elected officials.

Charmel Radcliff is president of the West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees.