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March 28, 2006
So Confused

Go ahead. Tell me how the "Medicare drug prescription plan" isn't a a confusing mish-mash.

The Bush administration notified hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries on Monday that they were listed on the rolls of two prescription drug plans and would soon be dropped from one. They will retain coverage under the other plan.

How does this happen, you wonder? How does a program largely advertised as requiring six people, an accountant, a lawyer, and a 420-page instruction manual* to get enrolled in in the first place wind up with 'thousands' of people enrolled twice?

More than six million low-income people entitled to both Medicaid and Medicare were assigned to Medicare drug plans selected at random by the federal government. These plans did not necessarily cover the drugs they needed. Many of these "dual eligible" beneficiaries selected other plans or were placed in other plans by relatives, state officials or former employers.

If the plans were just chosen at random, then what was the point? I can see if the government had tried to match people's prescription needs up with a specific plan (a project that's mind-boggling in its complexity) but why just assign them randomly?

But then, this has been a disaster from the first day, and I've been saying so.

* Made-up stuff.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:10 AM