Thursday, November 17, 2005

Take heed, Seniors and disabled Americans!

Subject: Sliced Bread (Medicare Drug Plan)

Dear Buzzers;

I work in a hospital. Yesterday I attended a meeting for hospital staff intended to explain, and define the changes in the new Medicare "benefits." So far, so good. I arrived about 10 minutes into the presentation. The "keynote speaker" was wearing a military uniform!!! He spoke in clipped cadence, with a lilt to his voice that bespoke his enthusiasm for this program. I suppose he thought it would be infectious. (It wasn't.) At one point, he said, "I can't believe it's already been a year," since this program was voted on, and "we are beginning tomorrow!!"

I had to put my absolute horror on the shelf in order to listen to the content of his "talk," so that I might be able to help the patients that I serve (and my 90 year old mother, and other senior family members). But the message was clear: "The military are in charge here, and don't protest." During his pep talk, ("I'm not from Illinois, so I can't actually talk about what is available in your state ... There are over 90 plans to choose from nationwide!!" smile, smile, smile ...) I could see people shaking their heads, and becoming visibly annoyed. (I was not alone.) When he showed a cartoon about someone trying to grab for his medications as they were being held just out of his reach (next slide, please), he said, "Bush wants our seniors to be able to have their medications without any difficulty," I had to leave - or throw something at him.

I remember watching C-SPAN when they held the voting open for over 4 hours while the Republicans twisted more arms than they wanted to admit, in order to pass this abominable reform bill. The bill passed around 4 in the morning - or was it 5? Does the name Nick Smith from Michigan ring a bell? He's the congressman who was threatened by DeLay and Hastert to vote in favor of this reform. It was the beginning of the end for our seniors and our disabled.

I have had numerous questions today asking for explanations. I can't explain this mess. I think it will take years for people to understand all of this. I do know that this government is a monster. They are willing to fine people more than 100% of the cost of their premiums (these are the people who aren't automatically enrolled) for the rest of their lives, if people don't select a new plan. This is the height of corruption and greed. I am appalled and aghast. I cancelled my AARP membership when this "reform" was passed with the support of the leadership of AARP. So did all my family members at my encouragement. Every time I receive an invitation to rejoin AARP, I send it back to them with a reminder of why I severed my connection with them in the first place. This time I plan to send them every bit of printed information about the "over 90 plans!!!" in their postage paid envelope along with my repeated refusal.

I an enraged that Social Security would send out the militia to enforce this "new and improved Medicare." I just hope that by May, 2006, the Loyal Reader who wrote, "Sliced Bread (Medicare Drug Plan)" will have been able to make sense out of this horror. I also hope we can all outlive this mess and have real reform so that we can all go back to a simpler time when programs made sense to the people who need and use them and not $$ and cents to the big Pharma and Insurance companies who profit from them.

A BuzzFlash Reader


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