Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., speaks during  the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on Jan. 19, 2019. 

While I appreciate the sentiment of an article published on February 29, "6 Tips for Making the Most of Your Medicare Plan," it fails to touch on a major point that will be financially crippling for recipients — the Health Insurance Tax.

After a lifetime of hard work, affordable health care should be a guarantee in retirement. Instead, Congress is playing games with senior care by refusing to pass legislation (H.R. 1398 and S. 172) that would suspend the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) and protect seniors from skyrocketing insurance premiums.

The HIT is a multi-billion-dollar tax on health insurance premiums that will go into effect in 2020 unless Congress acts soon. If HIT goes into effect, the cost for Medicare Advantage plans could rise by up to $500 per couple — forcing many seniors to choose between health care and other necessities.

Key legislation before Congress (H.R. 1398 and S. 172) would stop the HIT and protect seniors, but U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy and U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins have failed to sign on as co-sponsors.

Most seniors live on fixed incomes and depend on Medicare to live well. We can’t afford to let Congress play games with our health insurance.

Thomas Jeanne

member, Better Medicare Alliance Protect Our Senior Care Task Force