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Tom Benjamin

I don't think this is a valid concern. I'm Canadian and I spend none of my time fighting with bureaucracy over health care. I am sure that some of us have had that experience, but I am also sure it is rare.

The real problem is that delivering healthcare services is the hardest thing government does in Canada. Contrary to what M4A advocates think, Blue Cross et al do essential work. In Canada each province has a large bureaucracy - built incrementally over 80 years - doing that work. They have large numbers of skilled employees who understand healthcare and the issues. They have office space, computer networks, sophisticated software and hard won institutional expertise. Healthcare is fucking hard.

Somehow, the Federal government is going to do all that work in America? Someone is going to design a system that bypasses each state? We do healthcare at the state level. All the Feds do is set standards and help with funding. Find office space for, say, a million new emplyees? Train them? Actually implement?

A guaranteed clusterfuck.

DocAmazing

I deal with insurers from the other side--I'm a physician.

The Feds are terrible.

Private insurers are significantly worse. They will change the rules in the middle of a phone call. Drugs that were covered on Tuesday are rejected on Thursday. Procedures that were pre-approved are suddenly no longer covered after they've been performed.

There are few organized functions that cannot be made worse by greed, profit-seeking, and a lack of accountability. Private insuracne is all three of those things, but swollen and throbbing.

Larry B

Yes, the sign up is a pain in the butt. Once you're in and have chosen your supplemental and prescription plans, it is almost completely painless. Show your card(s) to the receptionist, that's it. You know what your costs will be upfront. The only downside is the deal that the supplemental insurance providers made with the Feds that you have to re-select your supplementals every Nov/Dec, and that blizzard of incomprehensible bullshit is pretty thick. If you're happy with what you have, just roll it over. In 5 years my only issues have been a bad choice of an Rx plan the first year, so I had to wait 12 months to fix that, and one procedure that required pre-approval. Almost everyone I know who is on Medicare is surprised at how happy they are, once you get settled in. Good luck.

Kaleberg

If I read your post correctly, you were dealing with SSI, not Medicare. Disability does make one jump through a lot of hoops, if only because there is a lot of fraud. Do you really want someone filing for disability benefits in your wife's name? Do you really want to deal with untangling that kind of mess?

I remember someone complaining that the military had a 20 page definition of cherry pie for the purposes of procurement. It all sounded like scar tissue. There is always someone willing to sell a cherry pie without cherries, an inch in diameter, without a bottom crust, with cherry pits included and so on.

If everyone was on Medicare, your wife would have received her Medicare number shortly after she was born and you would have had to post about something else.

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