Some things you don’t know until you get old. When you are not old, old people ‘s problems don’t exist for you. And then you turn 65!

Medicare is another one of those not funny jokes Washington, D.C. has cursed among the senior citizens. What the Hell happened to such a very simple, benevolent, and good program for America to offer a safety net to millions of poor and hardworking people who simply got a bit older.

Politics, lobbying, politicians and Washington power brokers conspiring. I have no idea. Take your pick of any of these possibilities or come up with one on your own.

It has now been so bastardized by the agreements with health insurance companies sleeping together in the political hotbed that the only people nobody really looked out for were the senior citizens who need it.

I turned 65 and signed for Part A upon being eligible. Then I decided to retire and needed Part B. As Caesar once decreed, “Let the games begin!”

For the better part of the last year and now that it is enrollment time every day I get letters, postcards, texts, invitations, enticements, and phone calls regarding Medicare plans and coverage — and how much money one company can save me over the other carrier whose supplement I already have.

I also get a whole lot of B.S and downright exaggerations or misleading advertisement, which back in the day was referred to as false advertising and/or flat-out lying to make a dollar.

You know the legal department always proofreads those contracts — advertising copy, morals and ethics do not mean the same as legal.

My 85-year old mother gets phone calls literally every day when I am at her house and during an evening of family poker will get 8 to 10 calls per hour in the evening. She is getting badgered and battered with sales calls and from the accents and dialects from all over the world from area codes I have never seen before.

Telemarketers bombard the elderly. In my mom’s case she has some diminished mental capacity, which precludes her from understanding all the concepts. It’s just simply wrong and unfair to prey upon elderly senior citizens such as my mom during the senior years of life.

Simply stated, Medicare is almost a shell game of both legitimate solicitors’ and scammers misleading the most elderly and mentally slipping. Unfortunately, each phone call from one of them is simply a first time and new phone call for her. All she hears is “Did you know you were eligible for additional benefits under Medicare?”

I am fortunate as I have a trusted friend who is an agent who has taken care of my needs. And for the hundreds of people who keep harassing my 85-year old mother daily — her needs have also been addressed.

Funny how life works when it doesn’t as it was initially intended to do. I wish that Medicare was reverted to the original idea and concept. Why did it become a cafeteria plan maze through which seniors to have to navigate?

With no exaggeration whatsoever my mom gets well over 50 calls each day — every day, seven days a week that begin at 7:30 a.m. and continue through 10 p.m.

If I happen to answer the phone when I am there they usually hang up or the conversation is brief. When mom takes the call, she tends to think it is her carrier looking out for her and starts giving out personal information.

We are signing her up on the No Call list. I hesitate to take away her telephone privileges as she can contact or be contacted by friends and family in the case of an emergency. The most important thing is that her telephone is pretty much her main contact with the outside world. She mostly prefers not to leave the house unless it is a necessity.

The harassing of senior citizens by telephone involving some of whom are incapable of making decisions regarding any insurance issue regarding changes in coverage has become simply business as usual with Medicare. The most vulnerable now are simply easy prey in open season for insurance telemarketers and goodness only knows what other scam artists taking advantage of them.

I was reading a fact sheet regarding Medicare. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B Johnson on July 30th, 1965. One line caught my attention as a gross understatement.

“Over the years, Congress has made changes to Medicare.” Boy, have they ever!

Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at lindon.dodd@hotmail.com

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