Continuing today’s theme of calling out poor writing… This passage from a story stating that a majority of seniors eligible for Part D, the new Medicare drug benefit program, aren’t enrolling:
But as in earlier efforts to register low-income Americans in programs such as food stamps or children’s health insurance, officials have encountered myriad challenges. The group of seniors eligible for the subsidies dubbed “extra help” tend to move often, may not speak English, sometimes suffer from mental impairments or do not want what they perceive to be a government handout.
Ummm… how else are they, and anyone else, supposed to perceive Part D? By itself, being a handout doesn’t push it into the “Bad” pile, but I’m at a loss to see how else it should be perceived. I’m sure supporters of Part D could explain it as something else, but that would be political gobbledygook. Reporters for the Washington Post should try a little harder.
Post Script: Yes, I agree that the details of this could fill many posts regarding the details. Such a post would likely begin with this statement:
Even Medicare chief Mark McClellan acknowledged that it is difficult marketing to this skeptical group. “Some people think it’s too good to be true,” he said in an interview.
Make of that what you will.