In fact, let’s expand Obamacare to Medicare, Medicaid, and every other product in a similar category.
While we go through the exercise I am about to suggest, have all of your papers in front of you plus a yellow highlighter AND a magnifying glass.
Also be very careful to not mix up the concepts of fraud (an intentional act of deception) and interpretation of information (usually not intentional, but sometimes clouded by what we refer to as “mumbo-jumbo”).
1. If you are medically insured — or about to be — under a federal or state supported program, start by equipping yourself with easily accessible food, water, a wastebasket (for all of your own hair that you will undoubtedly pull out), and any prescribed medications you might have (for instance, blood pressure pills, psychotropic pills or Xanax-like compounds.
2. Make sure you have space enough to allow your “in-basket” to hold upwards of THIRTY THOUSAND PAGES of documents, rules and regulations.
In order to avoid adding a weapon of self destruction to your equipment pile, store any lethal weaponry/medications in a safe place, abandon the task at hand and go to Plan Two.
3. Plan Two entails a commitment to attend as many “Free Seminars” (remembering, of course, that NOTHING is free. They WILL try to sell you their plan) offering explanations of the various programs. When you arrive, be prepared to take notes and collect information.
If you’re lucky, you might even get a free lunch or a boxed apple pie — offered as an enticement to attend, but nice all the same. Then listen, learn, question … and sign NOTHING.
4. When you believe that you have as much valid information as your brain can process, get ready to make your decision based on what you have collected. But wait! First schedule a one-on-one meeting with the representative of choice during which you can apply YOUR situation to THEIR product. Are you a diabetic? Do you have high blood pressure?
Is there a high incidence of cancer in your family history? Are you planning missionary work in Zimbabwe? When you have asked all of your questions and understand the answers, you’re ready to decide/commit.
5. Follow up. Read the newspaper, watch televised news programs, chat with your doctor’s billing people — because these programs are always changing. Always! Stay abreast and current.
Sometimes what we call fraud — is not fraud. It’s simply a failure to do the correct homework, ask the right questions, and receive clear and understandable answers.
Your job is to know the difference; especially on a choice as critical as healthcare.
Drop by the Pahrump Valley Times offices, 2160 E. Calvada Blvd., for a copy of Leslie Kim’s latest book “123 Main Street … the Scamming of America.” Only $19.95 while supplies last.