Ocean City Today

It’s Medicareless

The Public Eye
By Stewart Dobson | Mar 08, 2018



printed 03/09/2018


Two observations on sleep: One, saying you sleep like a baby makes no sense, unless you wake up every two hours crying. Two: Medicare is always running out of money because someone in the rule-making department is asleep at the wheel.

Here’s why: 10 years ago, I went to the hospital for a sleep study, because I suffer from sleep apnea. This is what they call it when you’re sleeping and stop breathing just long enough to get everyone’s hopes up.

Just kidding. But it is true that because I have had an off-and-on relationship with air during the wee hours of the night, a sleep study seemed like the right thing to do.

All I can say about that is you’re so wired up with nodes, clips and other sensors that you could hire yourself out to the Defense Department as an early warning system.

“I can’t sleep, because there’s a rocket launching in Russia.”

After my first study, I got a CPAP, which is a machine that makes you breathe in your sleep even when you don’t feel like it. As for its appearance,  it looks like a high-tech aquarium bubbler attached to an athletic supporter that you wear on your head. It’s a fashion statement.

Anyway, they’re expensive and mine’s shot, which makes Medicare a wonderful thing, except that Medicare won’t pay for a new one without another sleep study.

Apparently, the government believes one of three things: 1. sleep apnea can cure itself; 2. you’re a zombie because you stopped breathing and died but don’t know it; 3. you’re  selling  black market CPAP machines every 10 years or so.

The way I see it, in order to avoid being ripped off for a $1,000 machine you needed before, but don’t need now because of reasons one or two, Medicare spends $500 (I guess) for a second study to avoid shelling out $1,000 it will have to pay anyway.

Not only does this not make sense, it’s enough to keep you awake at night, assuming you weren’t awake and crying anyway.

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