english front work

Leavitt Lies: Medicare Part D Enrollment Numbers

Leavitt says that Medicare Part D was a success because “Around 90 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have enrolled” (DHHS Press Release, 4/4/06) to Part D. This statement is repeated in his Three-Month Progress Report (PDF)

“[Seniors] have enrolled” is not the exact phrasing I would use. “[Seniors] have been enrolled” is more accurate. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers.

Source: CMS (web link and direct link to Total Medicare Beneficiaries with Drug Coverage Data (v04.18.06) [, 3KB], Kaiser has a web version of the numbers

Leavitt includes all kinds of non-voluntary enrollment, and even non-enrollment information into his 27 million figure.

  1. First, 30 million is 69% of total Medicare beneficiaries, not 90%.
  2. Second, 10 million seniors/disabled out of these 30 million have not enrolled to Part D at all. They have had drug coverage all along (Already w/Creditable Coverage), and they should not be included in a report that measures CMS’s success in implementing Medicare Part D. They are beneficiaries to the Employer Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) and Federal FEHB and TRICARE programs.
  3. Third, you can’t attribute “Automatic Enrollment” numbers to CMS’s merits. There’s two subcategories, so let’s take a closer look:
    • Medicare-Medical Dual Eligibles: these are low-income seniors/disabled who were forcibly enrolled to Part D in January 1 2006, and went through all sorts of hardships while coping with the insurance companies’ neglect towards them. MediCaid sent them a NOA in late 2005 telling them that their MediCaid prescription drug benefits were being terminated, and Medicare just enrolled them to a randomly selected plan in December 31, 2005. Yes. RANDOM. Formulary and Pharmacy Network hell ensued.
    • Medicare Advantage (HMO, Part C): they were also forcibly enrolled to an HMO-subsidiary PDP from their own HMO by January 1, 2006. They can’t opt out for another plan, because then they lose their entire HMO benefit. They never filled a form requesting Medicare Part D. How can you call that “the senior enrolled”?
  4. Therefore 43 million should not be the 100% standard for counting enrollees, because 20 million out of those either do not have to enroll to Part D (and indeed they haven’t) or cannot enroll to it because they have been enrolled forcibly. The 100% goal should be 21 million
  5. And out of those, only 8 million have enrolled to this date. That’s why CBOs and CMS are scrambling to get the remaining 13 million enrolled before the May 15 2006 deadline.

Let’s stand corrected. The real enrollment of seniors/disabled who chose to enroll to Medicare Part D because they looked at their options and made a rational choice (a capitalist economy ideal, no?) is 8 million out of 21 million, which is a whoopping 38%. Not 90%.

[Tags]Medicare, Medicare Part D, Prescription Drug Plan, Enrollment, Numbers, Statistics, DHHS[/Tags]

english translation work

alienated translator

Consider this a front-line ethnographic report on translator-original text producer split of a phenomenon that also occurs in the programming front with i18n’s

when you step down from the MTA bus, you can see at the exit a sign that reads

Wait for green light, then step down

and also right below it

Espere por la luz verde antes de pisar abajo

Which is translated wrong. It should say “antes de bajarse” (“before getting out of the bus”, not “bejore standing under” – under what?). This problem, though, is way too easy to spot, and it’s unlikely that this glitch is the translator’s fault (such as the other more common ad mistakes which employ the wrong verb conjugation or an inconsistent usted/tu word play).

Most likely MTA had hired a single interpreter to do jobs in a batch process to save costs, and the translator was isolated from the actual material setting where the interaction betwen sign and reader was taking place – thus was completely unaware of what “stepping down” implied. (It’s fairly obvious once you see the actual stairs that lead you to the back door of the bus, but not if the translator is sitting at the office typing in a Word document at 11pm)

Some bureaucrats will never comprehend this, however.

english work

Two and half years ago our ethnographic interviewing…

Two and half years ago, our ethnographic interviewing methods professor walked us through what was to come, towards the end of the semester:

… What other classes your could take to complement ours? Hmm, I’d say, take statistics. No! Don’t take it here. No need to waste your tuition dollars on an introductory math course. Take a summer course at your community college. With the training you all have had this semester, you are all set up for graduate level research (or in a commercial setting), and usually they’d require you to have an M.A. to back it up, but a Masters is too expensive, not quite worth it, and you have the skills now.. so just get one or two years doing more field research, and get that stats course done. You won’t *actually* be doing any stats though, there will be experts with Ph.D. in stats doing the actual analysis. They won’t let you touch the database, they are very picky and don’t trust anyone else… If you don’t stay alert, you might forever staying behind the clipboard and asking “so did you mean ‘a lot’ or ‘lot’?”. How to get out of that cycle.. hmm (typical S smile), you figure it out.

I think we’ve got the Ph.D. in question. I’m glad we’ve got one though.

english scrapbook work

Senate approves nomination of Mark McClellan for CMS administrator

This stuff doesn’t show up on their website anymore nor the Internet Archive, but it’s still on google cache.

Senate approves nomination of Mark McClellan for CMS administrator

english ideology work

identifying the sin

A: Teacher what’s this paper?
YoKim: it’s the circle of holiness. Who can recall what 전도사님 talked about today?
T: Oh me me!
YoKim: no someone else besides T… hmm E can you tell everyone what was the message today?
E: Nah..
YoKim: ok then let’s have T answer it. Silence! Everyone listen to T.
T: she showed how our heart gets dirty with sins, and that Jesus’s blood makes us clean.
YoKim: good! It’s also important to remark that Jesus’ blood makes us holy, because we are all holy persons to start with, so when our sins are forgiven, we become holy again. Here we have… the circle of holiness! We’ll all go around and talk about our sins from last week or the week before that. Alright? Let me give you two examples. Hey A! Stop yelling at J.
YoKim: So I like playing computer games. Last saturday, the one before yesterday, I was playing a game and I was so excited that
P: what’s the game’s name
YoKim: oh it’s in korean so you may not know – it’s 대항해시대, you travel in ships and to trade and stuff. Anyway saturday morning I was so excited about the game that first thing after I got up was to run to the computer. And I should have had a time for God, like praying and reading the bible, but I didn’t!
T: Is the game fun?
YoKim: Yeah real fun. Now why was what I did a sin?
J: because you didn’t have breakfast.
YoKim: No, not having a breakfast is generally not good for you.. but it’s not a sin. I sinned because I put the game before Jesus! That’s why it’s a sin. Silence! T stop cussing at A.
T: but she started it!
A: No you started! u-g-l-y ugly!
E: u-g-l-y ugly!
T: you are stupid!
E: ugly!
YoKim: hey guys, stop! Ok let me give you the second example. You all know President Bush, right?
T: oh he’s a failure~
YoKim: you all know he started a war with Iraq, right? He says he sent troops to help the Iraqi people out, but we all know that’s a lie! He wanted the oil, and because it’s so expensive, he wanted all the oil for himself. E, quiet! So why is the Iraq War a sin?
J: because he went for the oil
YoKim: exactly! He put the oil above Jesus, and went into war without really asking God what she wanted him to do!
P: Hey teacher do you like Bush?
YoKim: no, that’s not what we are talking about right now. So let’s go back to my sin – I think my sin can be summed up as “game addiction”, that’s the core of my sin. Now for Bush, his sin can be summed up as “capitalism”! Got it? Now let’s go around and tell our sins from last week.
T: well last week I..

english organizing work

relationships on the bus

even though I felt as if my main problem as an organizer, an utter inability to establish relationships with bus riders was on the way to be solved as I tried a different approach yesterday at the BRU organizing drive (for general membership), I’m skeptic on two aspects of said improvement

1. Was it really better? I first talked with a riders who had already talked with K (but then he didn’t tell me he had talked – did he want to talk more? To me he seemed to be pulling out his arguments/stories from the basic education you acquire in undegrad (chiefly, his analysis of capitalism from an almost purely economistic determinist perspective – which led to a general lack of hope towards the movement). Second I talked with a former BRU member, still supportive but not paying his dues/not attending meetings.