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The Therapy Sessions
Friday, October 24, 2003

Let's See If We Can Make It Go Bankrupt Even Faster

Medicare Blimp
WASHINGTON (AP) - Finally, proof that government is full of hot air, or at least helium.

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors and the disabled, is spending $600,000 this year to have a blimp fly at sporting events, including Saturday's Tennessee-Alabama college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The blimp is part of a $30 million advertising campaign in 2003 to make the program better known to its 40 million participants.

The white blimp bears a likeness of the American flag and blue lettering advertising 1-800-Medicare, the telephone number the public can call with questions about benefits.

The ad campaign is needed because "the average senior has no clue what the benefits are," Tom Scully, the Medicare administrator, told a health care conference in Washington on Wednesday.

Is Medicare really this oblivious to its own bleak future? In 10 years, it won't have two nickels to rub together. But for now, it's busy finding anyone who needs a little free money.

Ah government! It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

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