Can a Mere David Take on the Goliath of Medicare?
An recent article in Medpage Today expressed concern that the general public does not understand how Medicare works and that in general we are clueless as to it how it is paid out and funded. The author, David Pitman, said that our policymakers need to create an educational campaign to help us understand the system.
That sounds like a monumental task to me. I am of two minds on this subject. On the one hand, I agree, but I tend to think the reason the public does not understand is two-fold. One, apathy; they just don't care enough to get involved -- until they don't get something they need. Only then does it become an emergency to them.
Two, I think the government is unreliable and maybe (?) dishonest in conveying how Medicare is handled. The reason I say this is because Medicare is a big machine and if you have to offend someone, would you chose the Davids or Goliath? I am considered "general public," so I am sure my view is naïve. But if you read your Medicare statements they tell you what percentage they paid, what percentage you owe and what the doctor may bill you for. Read your paycheck and it will tell you how much taxes you paid to Medicare. That is no small amount either.
I think we all operate with some degree of apathy. As consumers we should be more concerned and involved in all areas of government and healthcare and safety. And it is a merry-go-round at every juncture, from the cradle to the grave. What we should do is not always what we actually do, even though what we should do is in our best interest. Get involved. We are like the little frog that lives in my backyard. He has his head stuck in the grass and his hind side sticking out...