According to Stew Grabel, the Ombudsman for the Pima Council on Aging, the PCOA has been buried under an avalanche of calls for help in dealing with what Grabel describes as “this complicated, poorly planned, constantly changing Medicare program.”
The phone system has been “overwhelmed” and staff has been driven to work evenings and weekends helping people figure out just how to cope with the “benefits” of Medicare. You want help? They’re booking appointments a month in advance.
Here’s the kicker, though. You’d think that the place to go for help would be to the folks in charge, not to an under-staffed county agency that’s struggling to keep up with the demands for service. You know…Social Security, AHCSS, The Center for Medicare Services.
But the folks in charge are apparently baffled and confused, too. They are referring people with questions to The Pima Council on Aging!
Oh, I get it…they either don’t understand the wonderful Bush drug proposals with their magic donuts and sliding enrollment scales or they do understand all that and are too embarrassed to say.
We can’t be bothered to explain em…we just write ‘em.