At what point is something declared so hopelessly broken that you finally decide it's time to scrap it and start over from scratch? I mean, at what point do you just drag Old Yeller out to the barn and put a bullet in his head rather than have the rabid bastard f#@% up everybody's day? Sure you love the mutt, but something has to be done... the question then becomes "when do you do it?" How do you sense that moment, that very second of change where something goes from acceptable to bad? From bad to worse? From worse to hopeless? And shouldn't your goal be to stop the train before things actually become hopeless? Who wants a train wreck after all?
I am to the point where I see far too few redeeming qualities in the governmental machine of these United States of America. Our government has just gone from worse to hopeless. And before you go all "YEAH, BUSH SUCKS!" on me, I am not talking about President Bush... I am talking about the entire system.
The government exists to serve the people. Well, I feel served alright. SERVED A BIG STEAMING PILE OF STANKY ASS!
And it's all because I've been trying to help people with the new Medicare Drug Insurance Plan that went into effect yesterday.
Talk about your steaming pile.
As we age, our bodies break down. Our quality of life decreases. Things become harder. Life a little less pleasant... a little more painful. But thanks to pharmaceuticals, our quality of life can be made better beyond that point where our bodies start to decline. No need to nip off behind the barn and have a bullet put in your head just because you're old... drugs make it possible for you to live a good life to a ripe old age. Some drugs are even more critical, and allow you to go on living to a ripe old age.
But drugs are expensive. This means that only people with serious money (or really good insurance) are able to maintain their quality of life as aging starts to take over. Those without the means to pay hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for drugs each month are faced with choices that must be made. Do I buy food so I can eat another day, or do I buy a pill so my heart can go on beating another day?
This is not exaggeration, this is a real-life scenario faced by an increasing number of elderly persons every day. And while some are able to stay healthier longer than others, there comes a point where most everyone has to form an intimate relationship with their medicine cabinet. And this means you.
Our government's solution is to supplement private insurance carriers in order to assist the elderly with their prescription drug costs. This is called Medicare-D, the drug insurance plan. All you have to do is find a plan that fits you best and, chances are, you can save some money on the drugs you take. Sounds simple right?
Except the entire process of choosing an insurance carrier is massively complicated. Here in Washington State, there are SEVENTY to choose from. And since you never know what the future holds, something that might work now, may be useless three months from now. It's a hopeless mess of a "solution" that should have never made it off the page.
Unless, of course, you are one of the insurance agencies... in which case, there is money to be made.
I am a genius... not a self-proclaimed genius... but an actual, certified, Mensa-level genius with an IQ of 142. I am adept with internet research. I am fearless when having to make calls or track down information. My massive intellect allows me to solve problems that mere mortals fail to grasp. And yet... trying to help people find out if there is a Medicare-D plan that can help them is a huge, huge, chore for me. It's MADE that way. Sure the Medicare.gov web site helps you narrow down the choices (when it is actually working) but there are other factors which makes a final choice difficult, and has me questioning my sanity.
Now imagine that you are 85 years old and your mind isn't what it used to be. You don't have a computer or an internet connection. You might not even know how to turn on a computer. Reams of complex documentation might as well be a brick wall you can never make your way over. You have nobody to turn to for help and, since scams that fleece the elderly are so common, you can't trust a stranger. Even if you wanted to ask for help, you don't know where to go. Stacks of Medicare pamphlets and insurance company brochures arrive every day, but they seem to be written in a language you can't comprehend. You have mounting prescription bills that consume all your income. Sure there might be a Medicare-D plan that can help you, but it is well beyond your capabilities to grasp. Afraid and alone, you have no choice but to take a pass on drug insurance you don't understand, and pray that your prescriptions don't get any more expensive. Your budget is already so strained that you are down to one meal a day, and even that is getting to be a luxury...
And guess what... THAT'S THE TARGET AUDIENCE THAT THIS PLAN IS MEANT TO HELP!!
WHAT THE F#@%?!? Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!!
THIS is the best our government can do for our elderly? This piece of shit "solution" is all we get?? A complicated plan to help people who may not even understand it? A system so totally f#@%ed that some plans can actually cost you MORE money than you're paying now? A helping hand that can totally bitch-slap you if your drug needs are radically changed and no longer fit in the plan you've chosen? This is it?
Well game over. If this crap is the best our government can come up with, it's time to take a bullet in the head and start over. Find a new government which doesn't pay politicians to fight with each other over inane party lines AND FIX THE SHIT LIKE THIS THAT NEEDS TO BE FIXED!!
What totally douches me here is that prescription drug assistance for the elderly is such a simple problem compared to all the other crap we've managed to get ourselves into. If the solution for a simple problem ends up being this bad... what does it say for the bigger cookie?