Rep. Horn gave Medicare an "F" .... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

.... two questions:

(1) did anybody from HHS come forward to deny that Medicare deserves and "F"? (If so, I must have missed it.)

(2) has anybody seen any coverage of Medicare's "F" grade in their local media?


-- Lane Core Jr. (, September 15, 1999


I'll raise you one. Did anybody see Horn's report mentioned at all in the local media?

-- Dog Gone (, September 15, 1999.

No to both questions. And no one who is receiving Medicare/Medicaid payments seems to be very interested in the issue either IMHE (in my humble experience). I have emailed these links to several people in our org (healthcare org) and no response. Not part of their landscape, beyond their control, gotta go to the next meeting, what is my boss most concerned about *right now*, will wait until it is a REAL problem, 3 day storm, no sweat, etc.

As with most things in this world it will not be the lack of food or in this case healthcare facilities or staff that prevents people from obtaining their needs. It will be the lack of funds/payments. The 'Medi's provide for 40 to 60% of operational revenues, depending on the demographics which the org serves. Much of the non/not-for-profit orgs rely upon insurance payments and high return programs such as cardiac to float the deficit which is created by these low payment public insurances. Without the Medi checks and with a significant problem with the flow of money from profit oriented insurance corps I doubt that many facilities will remain open except on an emergency only/triag basis.

The Federal systems feed State systems with blocks of liquidity. All levels must work for the whole to work. The converse of this is that such a design increases the likelihood of over all failure.

-- ..- (dit@dot.dash), September 15, 1999.

While we're asking, did anybody ever see an article on the IEEE letter in the media?

-- Dave (, September 15, 1999.

A rhetorical question: If 97% of all critical fed systems are complaint (per Koskinen?), how can any cabinet-level agency get less than an B+ ?

-- Charles R. (, September 15, 1999.

The only thing I've seen lately is this, from yesterday (of course, this will not be widely picked up):

Medicaid System at Risk of Failing in Over Half of States

"WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by the Center for Y2K and Society:

The Medicaid systems in 33 states and the District of Columbia are presently at considerable risk of failure due to Y2K problems, according to newly released information by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).

Medicaid, a joint federal-state government program, pays for the healthcare of over 34 million Americans at a cost of $160 billion annually. Medicaid pays for one out of every three births in the United States, and almost half of all nursing home revenue comes from Medicaid. Essential healthcare is at risk.

According to HCFA, Medicaid is at high risk of failure in nine states: Alabama, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, and Vermont. More than two dozen states are at medium risk of failure, including Texas, Connecticut, New York, Arkansas, Missouri and the District of Columbia.

What will happen if state Medicaid systems fail to work come January 2000? Most impacts will appear not on Jan. 1 or 2 but over the first several months of the year:

-- Some patients will be refused healthcare. -- Urban public hospitals will be flooded with Medicaid patients who normally go to other healthcare institutions. -- Medicaid payments will slow down and cause the failure of cash poor clinics and nursing homes. -- The basic care of low-income nursing home residents will suffer as costs are cut. -- Fraud will increase dramatically as unscrupulous providers claim services were provided in 'good faith' to ineligible or nonexistent patients.

What can be done now, with just over 100 days left in 1999? Our prescription is centered around state-level and community-level contingency planning and applies regardless of Y2K readiness. All states must:

-- Freeze eligibility requirements from now through mid-2000. -- Issue paper eligibility IDs before the end of the year. -- Hire and train additional customer service representatives now. -- Move Medicaid funds to providers in the first quarter of 2000.

"The healthcare of 34 million Americans is at risk," said Norman Dean, executive director of the Center for Y2K and Society. "Government must take steps now to ensure Medicaid funds are paid in early 2000."

For months, the information on state Medicaid readiness had been withheld, prompting the Center for Y2K and Society to file a Freedom of Information Act request. The state readiness information is now available on the HCFA Web site at

The Center for Y2K and Society is an activity of the Tides Center. For more information on healthcare and Y2K, contact Margaret Anderson at 202-775-3267.

--- Have You Heard?

-- According to the latest statistics available from HCFA, in the nine states where Medicaid is at high risk of failure, the program provides health benefits to over 6 million people -- nearly half of them children.

-- Starting next week, Y2Kountdown will be released on a weekly basis."

-- pshannon (, September 15, 1999.

Lane, thank you for your post. Have not and could not even find Representative Horn's information. We are very interested, but can not find the information or site where it is posted. Any further information or a link would be greatly appreciated. As a disability benefits consultant and work incentives specialist, these issues are of great concern to us, and those who will need the medical care. Thank you.

-- Nancy (, September 15, 1999.


Amazing that this hasn't been widely reported.

Is this information freely available for easy viewing somewhere or only via download and PDF?

I would suspect that although Medicare is only useful to a certain percentage of Americans the system provides for a large part of the economic health of doctors and the medical industries. Where will they be left if this system goes down? Where will that leave the majority of us?



-- Michael Taylor (, September 15, 1999.

Thanks, everybody. I asked because (as I have said elsewhere) I'm giving a Y2K presentation this evening: one of my points will be that the good news (assuming its true) is shouted at everybody, but nobody tells the public about the bad news.

Here is the link: orm/gmit/y2k/.

-- Lane Core Jr. (, September 15, 1999.

Lane, Where are you speaking?

My read on the media's failure is that they have bought into the government strategy of not alarming the public and causing panic. They are so blinded by this strategy that they are not even investigating or even reporting the news. Media grade: F

-- BB (, September 15, 1999.

Roscoe, Pennsylvania. :-)

Horn's earlier report cards got a lot of coverage. (Well, relatively speaking.) Not this time. I speculate it's because there are still low grades, and all the news is supposed to be good news by now.

-- Lane Core Jr. (, September 15, 1999.

This omission should put to rest any claim of an "independent and neutral" media. Clearly they are now (and have been for some time) the lapdogs for TPTB.

Folks, we're on our own. It's up to us to find the pieces of the puzzle and put them together into a coherent picture.

-- Nabi (, September 15, 1999.

Ya know, people are going to die over this...maybe not millions, or thousands, but some...I am going to visit all of my health professionals next month and get it out of the way. Look at it this way...Medicare and Medicaid don't provide the bulk of most doctor's income...but we all will be affected. How?? Simple...I'll bet that the proportion of M&M dollars roughly pays the MALPRACTICE insurance. No malpractice insurance equals no medical care...FOR ANYBODY!

My assessment of Y2K overall is that people living in low density cities and towns will muddle through (especially here in the desert Southwest) but delays in reimbursement is going to KILL!

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in, September 15, 1999.

Has anyone seen a list of the "over half the states" where Medicaid is at risk?

-- Linda (, September 15, 1999.

Yep, we've posted this before, and we'll post it whenever we have time & see an M&M thread, or elderly/medical/healthcare topic.

We've concluded that, whatever idiocy, myopic tunnel selfish laziness contributed to the Y2K catatonicastrophy, NOW it has become a .system conscious Cull Opportunity. Big fast way to eliminate all that enormous drain of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.

Entitlement Coffers to Coffins. Koffinsky in charge. Let's reinvent Government!

Stocking streamlined shrouds ... think they've gotten that far, the .gov .system .biz .establishment with quick nitty-gritty-grungy for-real COVER-UPS, contingency plans "final solutionized?" Got grave diggers? Got enough crematoriums?

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, September 15, 1999.

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