Baby Boomers: Medicare and the art of obfuscation

Baby Boomers: Medicare and the art of obfuscation 5.00/5 (100.00%) 1 vote

Baby Boomers: Medicare and the art of obfuscation

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

I am still a number of years away from qualifying for retirement, Social Security, and Medicare but I received a 152 page booklet from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that only made me more concerned.

I guess the first problem I have is that it is 152 pages long. It’s a manual of confusion and I wonder if it is created that way on purpose. Is confusion the intent of Medicare?

The system is supposed to help retirees who have been paying Medicare taxes all their lives (as I have) to receive basic hospitalization services.

But I realize in trying to decipher the bureaucratic blah, blah, blah that it is indecipherable.

You think that people hired by the U.S. Government graduated from at least grammar school, right? Maybe, they might know how to write in a simple way to make it easy for senior citizens to understand their benefits and what they still need to do to get coverage.

Not everyone has a government pension. I’ve been putting money away in my own 401 K and savings, and have been planning for a while. But not everyone can. Not everyone earns enough money to sick away in their savings for their retirement.

What is Medicare? After reading the booklet, I’m even more confused.

It says it is “Hospital Insurance” for people 65 years of age or older. But the services are limited and honestly, I WANT MY MONEY BACK that I put into the system. Medicare sucks. Yes, that’s the word I want to use. It’s that bad.

English: President signing the Medicare Bill a...

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the Medicare Bill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In fact, it is so bad that the booklet spends more time explaining to me why I have to go out and buy health insurance to cover what Medicare doesn’t cover, which is pretty much everything.

And don’t even ask about prescription drugs and the so-called “donut hole.” Can you imagine that the government knows that there is an abyss in the prescription drug program so large and so incomprehensible that they have a name for it? The “donut hole?”

Someone in government is the real “donut hole.”

What a mess.

After thumbing through the gobbledygook in the booklet, I realize how screwed up this country really is.

We don’t take care of our elderly, do we? We just throw them out on the street to fend for themselves, even though those seniors have been paying into the Medicare and Social Security system for life.

And the people who do the most complaining are the ones with cushy pensions that have been fattened through clout, cronyism and union muscle.

To be honest, I can’t see myself sitting in a rocking chair in Arizona doing nothing. All that stuff about retiring and “seeing the world” is hogwash. There’s no relaxation. Most seniors will be eating unhealthy meals from fast-food restaurants and hibatchi-type buffets that serve slop for $12 a meal.

We’ll shuffle into the buffets with our torn shoes, tattered baggy pants, and maybe with our spouses or significant others who will share in our senior suffering.

If you are a senior and didn’t earn a Golden Parachute at some big robber baron corporation, you’re probably not reading this anyway. But for the rest of us schmucks, it’s going to be a nightmare.

That’s why I support ObamaCare because even though it’s not the best, believe me, what it offers is far better than a system where the adjectives that best describe Medicare (in this column) are: sucks, goobledigook, slop, confusion, bureaucracy, screwed, schmucks and unhealthy fast food meals.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Reach him at [email protected] or in the food line 10 years from now.)

Ray Hanania

Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network online news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley).

In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. He hosted a live weekend Radio Show on WLS AM radio from 1980 through 1991, and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM and shows on WSBC AM in Chicago and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate and his column is feature every Sunday in the Saudi Gazette in Saudi Arabia. He has written for the Jerusalem Post,, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His Chicagoland political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News on several Chicagoland blogs including the and

Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is Email him at: [email protected]