Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rules for Govern'n

HHS Works to Fix Drug Plan Woes
Widespread Difficulties With New Medicare Benefit Reported

President Bush's top health advisers will fan out across the country this week to quell rising discontent with a new Medicare prescription drug benefit that has tens of thousands of elderly and disabled Americans, their pharmacists, and governors struggling to resolve myriad start-up problems.


Even as federal leaders touted the enrollment figures, state officials and health care experts continued to report widespread difficulties, especially for the poorest and sickest seniors who were forced to switch from state Medicaid programs to the new Medicare plans on Jan. 1. Nearly two dozen states have intervened, saying they will pay for medications for any low-income senior who is mistakenly rejected.

Bubble Boy's Rules for Govern'n:

*Disregard predictions in matters of life and death (PDB's, weather forecasts, analysis and planning of a major health coverage intiative).
*Vacation or fund-raise while disaster strikes.
*Delegate the first response to the locals.
*When the griping and accusations get too loud, launch a PR offensive. Department officials should take the first round. If the bitching persists, Bubble Boy himself will make appearances.
*Return to vacation or fund-raising.


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