The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Medicare:
Only one exam
– then you're on your own

Aug 2, 2004

The Medicare program for senior citizen health care has, up to now, not covered physical examinations. This has been a glaring (and expensive) weak spot, because early detection of disease is the most effective and economical approach.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decided that it will now, starting January 1, pay for ONE comprehensive physical, if it is done no later than six months after a senior's first day of eligibility for Medicare.

An annual physical is the standard of care recommended by doctors for everyone. HHS may believe that suddenly at age 65, seniors will never develop any more health problems! But no one else is so foolish.

Does their one "comprehensive" exam include taking height and width measurements – for the pine box?