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Sen. Bill Nelson talks to Gainesville experts about Medicare

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Sen. Bill Nelson met with doctors, policy makers and researchers at UF’s Institute of Aging Monday to discuss his goals for the future of elderly Americans.

“Save Medicare,” he said. “Make it financially feasible given constrained budgets going on in the future.”

Medicare is a top priority on the Democratic senator’s agenda as the new chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Nelson, 70, said he wants to figure out how an aging population can have a greater quality of life.

Sen. Bill Nelson at a roundtable meeting Monday with UF's Institue of Aging Director Dr. Marco Pahor and other physicians, scientists and policy-makers.

Around Gainesville, elderly residents had their own ideas on how to solve Medicare’s problems.

Walter Kalaf, a resident of the Oak Hammock Retirement Community, said he doesn’t want Medicare “to take a larger and larger percentage of health care dollars that are available.”

“I think changes simply have to be made so that the costs are contained and the program continues,” Kalaf said.

Another resident of the retirement community said she believes lawmakers should handle the rising Medicare costs by providing benefits primarily to people below a certain income level. June Geirard suggested that upper income people not get full benefits or pay a larger percentage than others.

Nelson said he came to Gainesville to help resolve the concerns of these elderly Americans.

Kristen Morrell wrote this story online.

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