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I wanna be sedated!

by anna at 07:26 PM on September 10, 2004

Part of my job is to convince disabled people to accept complicated settlement packages that usually involve vehicles like "Medicare set-aside accounts," annuities and such. Most of them are suspicious, preferring to leave things as they are i.e. with my company holding an enormous bag. The biggest item in the bag is prescriptions. OxyContin. Dope. Welcome to the new, even more futile "war on drugs."

Today I had a rare taker. I moved in for the kill with my spiel about how if you can ever figure out Medicare's supposed "prescription benefit for seniors" you'll be in like Flynn. The guy says he isn't worried about that. He figures he can stretch the $93,000 allowance I've given him for a lifetime of prescription i.e. dope needs. And all his other medical needs (less the 20% copay) will be covered by this "Medicare set-aside account." He'll be set. My company will be tickled pink to kick him off their rolls.

How does he plan to do this with the skyrocketing cost of medications? Well, he lives next to an old folks home. Every day he watches them hobble out with their walkers and their canes and their wheelchairs to wait for the charter bus. The bus to fritter away their life savings in Atlantic City? No. The bus to Canada, five hours away. Just over the border there are makeshift pharmacies stocked with all their favorite dope, er, medications.

My guy (age 42) figures he'll just join them on their monthly trek up north seeking affordable relief. Before his settlement, my company footed his $4000 a month prescription bill so what did he care? He sat there on his balcony watching the old people gather for what has to be an arduous journey, thinking, "I'm sure glad that isn't me."

Now he has the charter company's brochure and he is good to go. There's a complimentary all-U-can-eat buffet in Toronto or wherever it is. Is it just me or is there something drastically wrong with this picture?

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