Wednesday, January 18, 2006

First Time Problems or Misdesigned Program

Today's Post has an article describing reactions to the problems in the implementation of the new Medicare drug insurance plan (Part D). HHS Secretary Leavitt says:
"'Since this is a new program, some people may experience a problem the first time they go to get their medicines, but we're confident that after you use it once, things are going to go more smoothly,' he said. 'If you are one of those seniors experiencing problems, our message is don't leave the pharmacy without your drugs.'"
Remember my Harshaw Rule 1.

It's possible that the program is misconceived and impossible to administer well through the congeries of state and private organizations that must cooperate. I certainly don't envy the HHS bureaucrats. But it's also possible that with time and experience people will adjust their behavior and make it work. After all, that's how our present health care system has evolved, though some may quarrel with the idea that it works.

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