January 25, 2006


Rx plan is failing to help the neediest (Richard Wolf, 1/24/06, USA TODAY)

Low-income seniors without Medicaid or prescription coverage are signing up for a new Medicare drug benefit at a far slower rate than others, a sign the program isn't reaching many of those who need it most.

When there's a program to help you but you can't be bothered to sign up, it's your reach that's the problem, not the government's.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 25, 2006 9:11 AM

Last line in the article: "Those who don't sign up with an insurance plan will be automatically enrolled in May."

Doesn't that take care of the "problem"?

Posted by: erp at January 25, 2006 9:31 AM

Pretty similar to the breakup of AT&T 20 years ago, where if you didn't pick a long-distance company, the government ended up assigning one to you. Whether or not these same people end up protesting that they were assigned to a sub-standard plan in the future remains to be seen.

Posted by: John at January 25, 2006 9:51 AM

Where are the caring Democrats who advocate for the victims, any victims, and if there are none they'll create them. Why don't younger friends and relatives help the victims make a choice. Even AARP recommends the program.

You know where they are! Sitting on their duff as they did in Katrina, donating money but not their time and effort like the faith based organizations did. They seem to view their role as publicizing problems and prolonging them into political issues.

I had one tell me: Tax me and solve the problem with the tax money; that way I don't have to worry about it.

Posted by: Genecis at January 25, 2006 10:17 AM

Actually, my bet is people aren't signing up because it's too damn complicated. In Florida there are over 200 plans to choose from, and just reading the literature on 4 or 5 of them makes your head spin (and I'm not even a senior citizen)...

Posted by: Foos at January 25, 2006 10:43 AM

yes, the poor should have to work to receive welfare but seniors shouldn't have to experience some dizziness to get their free benefits....

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2006 11:02 AM

Foos: If it's too complicated, and you can't figure out which plan to pick, just check a damn box and get it over with. How many of us pick the "best" plan when we're given a choice of only a few medical plans through our employer? At most we read the simple intro brochure and make a guess about what sounds OK.

Posted by: b at January 25, 2006 11:36 AM

Any federal program that hasn't worked out all the bugs within 24 days of its inception should, naturally, be deemed a failure. We know who to blame.

Posted by: ed at January 25, 2006 12:05 PM

To continue: I clearly remember that Lyndon had Medicare running smoothly from day 1, and it continues to perform faultlessly today.

Posted by: ed at January 25, 2006 12:22 PM

Medicaid? Shouldn't it be medicare?

What age group are they defining seniors as?

Below 65?

Posted by: Sandy P at January 25, 2006 1:34 PM

This is just a way around the basic rule of fairness in American society. Generally the rule "If I made a mistake, I pay for it, and if you made a mistake you pay for it" wins wide applause: but here, "If I made a mistake, you designed the program wrong, and if you made a mistake, you designed the program wrong, and if I forgot to do anything, mistake or not, you designed the program wrong" is the incoherent cry.

Posted by: Arnold Williams at January 25, 2006 5:48 PM