I signed my
elderly father (83) up for one of the 43 separate Medicare Prescription drug
plans available in the Louisville area. That's right 43 —- how the heck is an
83-year old man, a man who cannot even switch between the TV and the VCR so he
can watch Laurel & Hardy movies, a man that would still have a rotary phone
if we hadn't bought him a touch tone phone —- how can this man decide whichplan is best for him.
matter, how could I? The Medicare sight is a mess —- obviously created by a
bloated bureaucracy, the site is full of obscure references to more obscure
laws, most of which refer to indecipherable regulations. This is supposed tohelp elderly people make a decision —- absolutely ridiculous.
conversation with Bill Detwiler this morning, he correctly pointed out the
problem with the whole set up. Everything is designed to help the insurance
companies get enrollees —- all the gibberish is designed to cover their rearends from liability, not to help Medicare beneficiaries.
For the Web
site to be truly effective for the Medicare beneficiaries (as it claims to be),
it should ask only one question: Please
list your prescription drugs. With that information, the Web site wouldproduce the least expensive plan for your prescriptions.
were a customer-oriented site produced by a corporation or business that was
truly dependent on the satisfaction of its beneficiaries, it would be
completely different. The technology is available, but the bureaucratic will is
not. Medicare, the insurance companies, the federal government should be
ashamed of themselves and we, as a society with an increasingly olderpopulation, should be embarrassed. We can and should do better.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.