Monday, December 12, 2005

How to Play Bridge

"We were trying to avoid information overload, which I don't think serves people well either."-- California's deputy director of medical care services, Stan Rosenstein, on why a state plan to finance drug benefits for disabled seniors was not publicized more vigorously. Los Angeles Times, 12/12/05
No one wants “information overload,” so we can be thankful that Merck withheld information in a 2000 study that Vioxx caused more heart attacks than was being reported. These drug companies and the government officials they help keep in power don’t want us to clutter our brains with extraneous details. They are looking out for our welfare, don’t you know.

Nearly 1 million poor and frail California seniors who will be transferred automatically into the Medicare prescription program Jan. 1 can get transitional help from the state if private insurers under the new plan do not cover their particular medications.

But no one has notified those eligible of the state's policy — which provides up to a 100-day supply of medicines they are currently taking, including expensive name brands — and they only have until Dec. 31 to request and receive the medication.--Los Angeles Times, 12/12/05
There is some suggestion that in the zeal of Governor Arnold’s budget tightening efforts, there was a hope that the needy seniors would avoid dipping into this $100 million well and thus deplete California’s coffers just when things were starting to look a little better for the treasury. If an elderly person can’t make up his or her mind where to get cheap drugs, why should regular taxpaying citizens foot the bill for them to get their prescriptions in the interim. Everyone’s got to pull their own weight, like Bill O’Reilly pummels his listeners every day. Otherwise we’re nothing but a bunch of pinko commies bleeding the till needlessly.

Or, someone forgot to push the PR buttons hard enough and seniors just haven’t gotten the word. Until today’s front page numero uno story addressing the issue of this 100 day state-paid-for drug bridge for seniors.

Stan Rosenstein’s going to be old one day. I wonder if he’ll be able to stand up to the “information overload” he’ll probably demand then.

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