Here's an area of the swamp...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Here's an area of the swamp...

...a particulalrly feculent area, that desperately needs draining: Medicare!

(United States Medicare, a single-payer, national social insurance program, is administered by the U.S. Government's Social Security Administration.)

In a television commercial that probably would never air in prime time, being relegated to "overnight" time slots, the first image shown is the familiar red and blue on white Medicare Health Insurance card while a voice over asks if anyone carrying such a card is suffering from "chronic back pain or knee pain?"

My ears pricked up at this since my medical professional wife, more than ten years my junior, uses both forms of brace when exercising at the gym or walking the dogs.

(She even got a knee brace for me last month... O, the ravages of time!)

The commercial continued, stressing less the benefits of the "Medicare Approved" devices and more that, "if you qualify," and rare is the denial, it could be free!

Thoughtfully provided was an 800 number for "The Brace Hot­line," and what is of primary interest to those staffing that line is your name and Social Security number so that they can start monitizing your information.

An odds-on proposition is that with that simple 'phone inter­view, the caller is approved for the device (one for which the caller is not paying)... there's a reason why "ambulance chasers" love nerve and muscular pain cases since as such complaints are rarely quantifiable.

I'm going to ask our Congressman, Lee Zeldin [r, shirley], if he could stop advocating for Israel long enough to look into the wasteful "legal scam" and craft some legislation to put a stop to such abuses of tax payer funds.


1. Jeanne Speir said...

For the record: the knee brace and the back brace I use both came from Kmart, and cost less than $14. They still work well.

Blogmeister: I take umbrage with the tangential proximity of the word "feculent" to Medicare.

Medicare is insurance we have paid into for decades with every paycheck; and it covers overall 80% of our medical bills. (Additionally, we still pay on average, over $100 a month each for Medicare B (for outpatient services), plus Part D drug premiums, and prescription costs, as well as a supplemental insurance monthly to cover the remaining 20%.) Still, it is a blessing. Without it, most of us golden oldies would be bankrupt or dead.

These TV sales-guys? Be very wary of these stinkers trying to prescribe you a more expensive brace, or diabetic supplies, or respiratory equipment, when often there is a simpler, cheaper, better way. They're looking to tap Medicare dollars. It's unethical.

Our Congressman Zeldin, BTW,is supporting this type of robber baron. As he votes against national universal health care and for not subsidizing Planned Parenthood, his name is signed to a bill protecting these SOBs, ostensibly under the guise of protecting a smaller number of severely handicapped, who do require help with highly specialized "Durable Medical Equipment." Many of the prices are outrageous; similar to Big Pharma.

Yes, dear.

But also for the record, although it was inartfully expressed, my issue is with the Medicare scammers such as the one described. And if the system doesn't protect itself from this sort of costly abuse, I submit that "feculent" is indeed le mot juste.

2. Jeanne Speir said...

Yes, dear.

You haven't noticed, but Medicare turns down quite a fair number of billable supplies and services. That includes braces (I was denied payment for a podiatrist-dispensed $25 cast boot last year).

If the brace you have them "help" you obtain is denied by Medicare, you are stuck with the bill. And it will cost far more than the Kmart variety, although it may not work any better.

Caveat emptor.

You are correct, I had not noticed that "Medicare turns down quite a fair number of billable supplies and services," but I submit that if Medicare really was on top of the issue, they'd be turning down enough more that these dubious "supplies and services" purveyors wouldn't be spending their own money runnng their TV commercials, even at 5:00 am.

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