Joanne Ralston Letter to Del. Parrott
5 Oaktree Lane, Apt. H
Williamsport, Maryland 21795
March 21, 2011
RE: State Health Care & Benefit Cuts HB72, SB87, SB628
Delegate Neil C. Parrott
House Office Building, Room 320
6 Bladen Street
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Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Dear Delegate Parrott:
This is an expression of concern regarding proposed cuts to the Health Care and COLA benefits of Maryland State Retirees, as reflected in the above Bills.
I spent nearly 30 years of my life as a servant for the State of Maryland, mainly because of implied benefits to be available upon my retirement. I had been offered excellent positions in the private sector, but chose to remain with the State for stability, even though the salary was pitiful. I lost my husband to brain cancer in 2008 and it became necessary for me to sell my home this past year (in a terrible market) to make ends meet. The first of this year, I lost an additional $66.00 in taxes, monthly, due to restructuring as result of termination of the “It Pays to Work Act”.
Now, the drastic changes proposed in the above referenced Bills would create still other tragedies. Elimination of co-pays and going to flat percentages of the cost of prescription drugs, along with increasing the deductible and greatly increasing the out-of-pocket cap seems to me nearly inconceivable.
Is there no reward for long years of loyal, faithful service to the State of Maryland? If our budget is in such a terrible state, why was insurance offered to dependent children through age 25? That seems to me like taking on those who never worked for the State and dumping us retirees who, at one time, were the backbone!
I appreciate the benefits that were provided to me over the past years; however, we need our benefits now more than ever, as we become older, with failing health and need more medications, etc.
How are we to make ends meet when the State and Federal Governments continue to chisel away at our benefits, while at the same time, inflation has caused the cost of the commodities and services we depend on to continually rise? We are truly in a “squeeze”!
I plead with you, when you vote on these Bills, please show favorable consideration to us, your constituents, and think about the devastating effect this “sentence” would pronounce on the lives of us, the retirees, of the State of Maryland.
Joanne F. Ralston