Monday, September 22, 2008

"I'm in the doughnut and it sucks."

"Hi Mom, how are you doing today?"
"I'm in the doughnut."
"Excuse me, Mama?"
"I'm in the doughnut and it sucks."

Apparently, my mother has hit the doughnut hole or "coverage gap" in her Medicare insurance plan. While in the doughnut, my mother gets NO compensation for her expensive medical bills that help her deal with the pain of having Transverse Myelitis (it's kinda like M.S.). So she's just charging everything to her credit card until she hits the "catastrophic coverage threshold" when EVERYTHING is covered. Then, she'll have to pay down her credit card as quickly as possible.

While the doughnut hole is a clever revenue saving device for the government, it makes absolutely no sense for the average person operating on a budget (Let alone my mother who doesn't know what a budget is!).

If the government has to be in the business of social safety and health nets, the process should be as transparent and simple as possible. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of that money "saved" by the doughnut hole isn't squandered on a small army of accountants who calculate and track all the individual doughnut holes.

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