Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Same Ole' D-Tripe

The New Medicare Prescription Plan.

SANTA ROSA, CA - Genell Graham struggled to hold back tears as she stood at the microphone Monday asking for advice about the new Medicare prescription drug plan.

The 65-year-old Santa Rosa woman said her insurer won't give her the anti-seizure drug she's been using. Instead, it wants to put her on a generic drug her physician has warned against because of its side effects.

I heard lots about the new change-over's last December. The local pharmacies were swamped with folks getting their prescriptions filled pre-new plan, in December. They planned ahead.

Graham was one of 400 seniors who packed the center's conference room to talk about the new prescription plan offered by Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older. The meeting was set up by Woolsey.

D-Lynn Woolsey, of socialist fame had little to say in the way of actually helping the seniors.

Woolsey encouraged seniors to call her office if everything else failed. She has received more than 70 letters and e-mails about Medicare prescription problems since the program began a week ago.

She opposed the Medicare prescription bill and supports a national, single-payer health care system that would cover all U.S. citizens.

"This is not something I supported," Woolsey said. "And this is not the way it ought to be."


These new plans are... NEW.

The new program is off to a rocky start. Four sets of computers - at the health insurer, Medicare, the Medicare claims processor and the pharmacy - must interact smoothly for the plan to work.

That hasn't been happening.

Many of the two-dozen insurance companies that offer drug plans in Sonoma County didn't have enough people to handle the phones, and their answering devices hung up on callers.

Medicare programmers couldn't input the data fast enough to keep up with the surge of enrollees in late December. Other glitches caused computers to overload and occasionally crash.

It's Bush's fault. It's the only answer you'll get from a Democrat.

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