In her article, Part D: Rx for Disaster, Terri Emerick investigates how Part D, due to the Medicare Modernization Act,
creates a situation where private insurers administer the program at a higher cost of health care to all.
She examines how, despite having taken effect January 1, 2006, there are many flaws with the legislation. The major concerns are that Part D is not reaching the populations for which it was intended.
As Emerick points out:
…enrollment was made extremely difficult for the populations that were thought to benefit the most by Medicare D, that is, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Those who did call (800) MEDICARE were told to go online to determine which of the plans offered covered all of their prescriptions:
A poll released…[in November]…by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that only 6 percent of responding seniors have ever looked at www.medicare.gov.
Additionally, there are other serious concerns that:
- Part D does not provide prescription coverage that is similar to
that of federal employees and congress as promised by the President.
- The technology used for the transfer of medical information is inadequate, as is the Medicare.gov enrollment website.
- Those who the program was supposed to serve are confused and have, for a combination of reasons, difficulty with the enrollment process and the program itself.
- Many were denied lifesaving prescriptions or faced extreme hardship in obtaining them.
- Congressional concerns have not been adequately addressed.
- Financial concerns of independent business owners/pharmacists who deal with Part D have not been resolved. They see Part D as potentially causing harm to their customers.
- Both Rep. Stark and Larry Noble (Center for Responsive Politics) recognize a possible conflict of interest regarding the sales of the United Plan by the AARP. No financial statements are being provided to prove otherwise.
- The AARP, UnitedHealth, the Social Security Administration, and Medicaid appear to be unable to resolve the issues regarding the deduction of premiums. Each entity blames the other.
The full article can be found at the ePluribus Media Journal, Part D: Rx for Disaster.
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