Enterprise Software

Is this really the best we can do?

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 which

plan is best for him.

For that

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 to

help elderly people make a decision —- absolutely ridiculous.

During a

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 rear

ends 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 would

produce the least expensive plan for your prescriptions.

If this

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 older

population, should be embarrassed. We can and should do better.

About Mark Kaelin

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.

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