U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia paid a visit to a 91-year-old Key West senior Friday and found that, even in the liberal Southernmost City, there are serious concerns about the effects of Obamacare, the federal health law that has put Democrats in an awkward spot since 2009.
At issue for widower Rene Stincer: A potential increase in out-of-pocket costs for home healthcare. Stincer fears it could break him, or at least force him out when his fragile state requires he stay put.
"It's better for me to stay in this house," Stincer told Garcia, according to the Key West Citizen.
"It's better than going to the hospital, anyway," The Citizen quoted Stincer saying. "There's nothing wrong with the hospital, but I'm more free here. If I need something I can call a friend. If I want to go to the movies, it's just down the street.""Right now, Medicare pays 100 percent of each home visit," said Wilkerson, whose company employs 26 people to care for the infirm at home.
The owner of the agency that helps Stincer, Island Home Care's Kim Wilkerson, explained: "The problem is that Obamacare [the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] proposes a $100 co-pay for this service. When you're that age, and living on a fixed income or limited resources of any sort, that kind of an increase can lead to hard choices such as cutting back on food or medicine, and it's got us worried."
Garcia, who represents the moderate swing district extending from central Miami-Dade to Key West, supports the healthcare law. But not blindly. He was one of 23 Democrats to side with Republicans in the U.S. House to delay implementing Obamacare's individual mandate.