Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Larry Sange » Tue, 24 Nov 1998 04:00:00



Paul,

I'm sympathetic to your verdict here.

But what I would like is a reminder, purely for my own edification, about
the argument behind your view.  Essentially, you argue: Congressman Horn
gives Medicare a "D"; therefore Medicare is gone.  Of course, you've left
out a bunch of steps in the argument.

It's not like I have never seen this sort of argument before; I've made
such arguments myself.  It's just that, after all of my own research, I
still do not conclude immediately, as you do, that the fact that Medicare
is really far behind in its Y2K work, that it will thus necessarily fail --
that not only will the computer systems that run it not work, but also that
all the contingency plans that may be in place will also fail.  It does
seem plausible to me that both the systems and the contingency plans will
fail, in both Medicare and in many other systems.  But of course it doesn't
just seem *plausible* to you -- it appears to strike you as a certainty.
And where I see certainty and a reasonable-seeming man, I expect a really
good argument or two.

So unless you are tired of explaining your position (and I can't imagine
that you are), could you please explain what the argument is behind your
view that Medicare will, (almost?) certainly, fail given Horn's report on
its progress so far.

BTW I am not asking this in order to argue about it with anyone.  I am
asking it, as I said, simply for my own edification.  I'm not even asking
it in order to decide whether or not I should prepare, because I've already
decided that.

Thank you,

------------
Larry Sanger         |  Sanger's Review of Y2K News Reports
2279-1/2 N. High St. |  intelligent daily Y2K news summaries
Columbus, OH  43201  |  http://www.cruxnet.com/~sanger/y2k/

 
 
 

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Larry Sange » Wed, 25 Nov 1998 04:00:00


To answer "Omega Man's" question: No.  I didn't say I had started
preparing.  All I said was that I had decided.

Are you always this rude, or was that supposed to be a joke?

Larry Sanger

 
 
 

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Tom Benjami » Wed, 25 Nov 1998 04:00:00



>It's not like I have never seen this sort of argument before; I've made
>such arguments myself.  It's just that, after all of my own research, I
>still do not conclude immediately, as you do, that the fact that Medicare
>is really far behind in its Y2K work, that it will thus necessarily fail --
>that not only will the computer systems that run it not work, but also that
>all the contingency plans that may be in place will also fail.

Thank you for making this post. I like to stop and adjust my hubcap every so
often. How can I be soooo sure that this is going to be soooo bad? Paul and
Gary North do frequently over-reach my position. I am always willing to
concede that this company or that organization may not fail. I am -- and
always have been -- a big picture kind of guy.

The fact that Medicare is far behind and they are out of time, and they will
not be doing proper tests does not make me optimistic about the organization
but it does not mean their systems will certainly fail. (I am much less
optimistic that they will be able to do anything with a contingency plan
however. That is a non-starter with me. Large bureaucracies do little more
than process information on computers. Subtract the computers...)

While I am always willing to concede the specific case -- like Medicare -- I
am not prepared to concede the general. Some companies and departments like
Medicare are going to manage to squeeze across the finish line and operate
after a fashion. Will Medicare be one of those companies? I don't know. I
doubt it, but a few companies who are in desperate straits right now *will*
manage the trick.

But will most? Will the critical mass? Even the idea that someone can make
good decisions around which are the mission critical systems in a department
with hundreds or thousands of systems is ridiculous. The definition of
"compliant" has been softened from "it handles dates properly" to "it will
function, sort of." There is no leadership, no standards, no accountability.

We need to keep a certain (unknown) number of companies and departments and
industries functioning to avoid economic collapse. I have arbitrarily
decided that is about 70%.

This means that about 30% of organizations are "allowed" to miss the mark,
either because their remediation fails or because the remediation effort of
a critical supplier fails. Obviously some companies and organizations are
more critical to the effort than others. A failure by GM is far more
important than a failure in an obscure government department.

We are dealing with very large numbers of companies. We are dealing with
very large numbers of companies and departments who are very far behind even
though no one is trying to fix everything any more. Some of the companies
and departments who are ahead will fail because being ahead of the game is
no guarantee either. A mistake in assessing a system as non-mission critical
could easily be crucial.

When I look at any big picture, I get very distressed. I can make no flat
guarantees about the Fortune 500, but those are the flagship companies and
about 20% seem to be on a reasonable schedule. About 70% of them look like
Medicare to one degree or another. Will most of these companies make it?
Will *most* organizations that look like Medicare make it?

"Will Medicare make it?" is not the correct question. "Is this bank now
compliant?" is not the correct question. The correct question is "Will 70%
of the banks and Medicares make it?" and "Even if 70% make it, will 70% be
able to stay in business? I think there are too many possible points of
failure.

The problem with repair is volume, and volume is also the reason we will
very probably see cascading failures throughout the economy. There are too
many points of failure. There are too many Medicares.
There are not enough Bethlehem Steels. (And I would be very worried even if
every company looked like Bethlehem Steel, speaking as a big picture kind of
guy.)

While I grant that 70% is an arbitrary number, I think it is very low. I say
we need 70% (it is probably closer to 90%) of organizations to successfully
remediate (there is no real definition of compliant) all of their mission
critical (no real definition of mission critical) systems to avoid complete
economic collapse (when the economy is already staggering). There are too
many points of failure. There are too many Medicares. There are not enough
Bethlehem Steels. I'm a big picture kind of guy.

Furthermore, we have to get this level of success while Joe Public keeps the
faith. I don't think there is enough trust to keep Joe in line. If he bails
because he sees too many points of failure, too we have economic collapse.
Which road does not lead to ruin? Even if 90% of the companies fix 90% of
everything we face an international catastrophe.

I am as pessimistic as Milne about the impact of Y2K. I think the economy
will break and everybody is out of business. I believe Y2K will kill people,
probably a lot of people. At the point of disaster, he and I diverge sharply
in our views. I see order emerging quickly out of chaos at the community
level. A startover.

Prepare, survive, rebirth, recover and rebuild something different from the
bottom up. That is my worst case scenario, and my most likely scenario. My
best case scenario is an international catastrophe worth all of our
individual and collective attention now. You do not have to believe in
complete economic collapse to believe in prepare, survive, and recover.

We are going to spend the next 13 months on a tightrope. The need for urgent
individual and collective action versus the urge to quell panic with a lack
of trust that runs both ways. Our leadership does not trust us, and we do
not trust our leadership. Our leadership has already failed us because it is
too late to fix the problem and because it is too late for everyone to
prepare. They now worry about shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre even
though they can see the catastrophe that looms.

All I can do is quietly walk up to people and say "Pssst. The theatre is on
fire. This is not a drill. Walk calmly to the nearest exit. Prepare,
survive, and recover. Pass it on."

It is a tragedy.

Tom

 
 
 

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Don Sco » Wed, 25 Nov 1998 04:00:00


On Tue, 24 Nov 1998 09:29:51 -0800, "Tom Benjamin"


>Even the idea that someone can make
>good decisions around which are the mission critical systems in a department
>with hundreds or thousands of systems is ridiculous.

No, it isn't.

Quote:> The definition of
>"compliant" has been softened from "it handles dates properly" to "it will
>function, sort of."

No, it hasn't.

Quote:>There is no leadership, no standards, no accountability.

Yes, there is.

<snip>

Quote:>It is a tragedy.

No, it isn't.

You have been bear-hugged by the pessimistic nature of this newsgroup.
It does not reflect reality.

Regards,
DS

 
 
 

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Robert Hollan » Wed, 25 Nov 1998 04:00:00



>> Medicare is finished. They are toast. One more example of the total
federal
>> failure.

>> Do you know how many people are 100% dependent upon this for medical
care? Do
>> you know how many hospitals and doctors will be out of business because
there
>> is no way to pay them?

I wonder if Milne understands how Medicare operates.

Medicare reimburses hospitals, pharmacies and doctors for services or
medications
rendered to qualified individuals. Medicare does not deliver services or
*--it
merely delivers dollars to service providers.

Any failure by Medicare in its processing department does not void its duty
to pay.
Computer problems may delay the payments, but not excuse them.

Furthermore, there are practically no doctors, hospitals or pharmacies that
rely
solely on Medicare patients for clientele. Doctors keep a healthy mix of
patients
(the mix is healthy, not necessarily the patients) to protect their incomes.
Thus,
they won't be starving as they wait for Medicare to pay out.

So, if Medicare suffers inefficiencies in its ability to pay, patients will
continue
to receive the care they need. Doctors, hospitals and pharmacies will just
have to wait a little longer.

Robert Holland

 
 
 

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Ed Car » Wed, 25 Nov 1998 04:00:00



Quote:>Oh, Paul, it is going to be so much fun to watch you slip further into
>insanity, when the outcome of the year 2000 is so much milder than you
>religiously believe.  I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving though.

Hey, that's OK - at least he'll have food in the house ;)
--

messages only!
Web: http://www.pobox.com/~erc
 
 
 

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Mike Grell » Wed, 25 Nov 1998 04:00:00



>So, if Medicare suffers inefficiencies in its ability to pay, patients will
>continue
>to receive the care they need. Doctors, hospitals and pharmacies will just
>have to wait a little longer.

>Robert Holland

Mr. Holland,

It is refreshing to see someone as totally naive as yourself.  If Medicare (or
any insurance plan) is not able to pay in a timely fashion, those individuals who
are covered by them will be, at best afforded minimal (i.e. amputation rather
than treatment) medical care, or at worst left to die.

When your Doctor keeps his kickback lists in his lab coat pocket, for examination
before prescribing, it is very difficult to maintain such a childishly trusting
attitude;  congratulations and keep up the good work.

 
 
 

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Flin » Wed, 25 Nov 1998 04:00:00



>[to comp.software.year-2000]


>following:

>>On Tue, 24 Nov 1998 09:29:51 -0800, "Tom Benjamin"

>>>Even the idea that someone can make
>>>good decisions around which are the mission critical systems in a
department
>>>with hundreds or thousands of systems is ridiculous.

>>No, it isn't.

>You're right. It's not ridiculous. It's just preposterous.

One gets the impression of vast incomprehensible machinery, put there by
some alien race and clanking away in inscrutible fashion, being tended by an
ignorant priesthood that chants prayers whose meaning is lost in the mists
of time, while they push buttons in sequences handed down father to son for
generations uncountable.
  If it begins to malfunction, we just sacrifice more *s.
 
 
 

Medicare Is Gone, No Ifs ,Ands Or Buts.

Post by Larry Sange » Wed, 25 Nov 1998 04:00:00



>[to comp.software.year-2000]


>>And the number one reason why they will not be done on time:

>>ITS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

>I, myself, find that very difficult to argue against. :-(

So do I!

Anyway, a more rigorous argument would be nice, as persuasive as this is.
But back to learning how to shear sheep, or whatever you're doing, Mr.
Milne!

Larry

 
 
 

1. Help! I am going to code IBM Assembler!

Humor Xpost to c.s.y2k., apparently this was a serious question on
c.l.asm370


c.s.y2k wants to know

1) how much is the client is paying for this assembler Y2K expert?

2) does the client know what he's buying?

3) does the phrase, "Game Over Man" mean anything to you?

4) why are there still "ah, you geeks won't see $200/hour consulting
rates" articles being posted to c.s.y2k?

Y2K is the children's crusade.... and there are 851 days left.

P.S. to Al, this isn't a thump on you.  You are the innocent here but
someone is running a scam on someone.

Cory Hamasaki  

2. VIRUS ALERT

3. I am not going to buy a computer from Royal Electronic Inc. if i were you.

4. does anyone have HandelGothic??

5. Wow, I am glad that I am not responsible for any more PC's.....

6. IBM Lexmark LJ 4029 922 Service Error?

7. I am damned if I do, and I am damned if I don't

8. Umax Astra 610S & Windows XP

9. y2k newsarticles going, going, gone?

10. need info on IFS

11. Need help with KA9Q NOS and the lpd

12. OS/NOS Utilities, etc.

13. Javascript NOS Teletext Slideshow