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WILLIAM TELLS: Medicare insurance mail is a giant pain - Odessa American: Past Columnists

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WILLIAM TELLS: Medicare insurance mail is a giant pain

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Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2008 12:00 am

A CASE COULD BE MADE for no person ever reaching "Medicare Age." This probably would relieve world overpopulation, but that's not what Poor William has in mind.

Instead, as he draws close to the dreaded "65," PW has thought more about how many trees could be saved if no need existed for Medicare. Since a photo is allegedly worth 1,000 words, PW wishes he had saved every piece of paper he has received - unasked for - from those who want to sell him something because he "soon will be eligible for Medicare."

The photo would have shown a massive pile of mail that wound up in the trash. This waste was caused because it must be as easy as pie to learn exactly when every individual in the United States of America is approaching 65.

Since there would be a gigantic outcry - PW hopes - if those turning 65 were euthanized to save the nation's forests, there must be a better solution. PW hates new laws, but he would not oppose making it a criminal offense for anyone with something to sell to be able to determine a person's age.

Those who like to receive and open junk mail could voluntarily post their age and address on the National Supplemental Medicare Insurance Association's online site. Something like that must already exist because PW's has received at least three mailings from every insurance company in America offering supplemental insurance to cover and/or enhance Medicare Part B through Z.

Medicare Part A (hospitalization insurance) is "free," of course, except for dreaded deductibles. Never mind the fact that people who have worked all their 64-plus lives and their employers have paid for all of this insurance several times over, plus Social Security and even the $255 "death benefit" that Uncle Sam cheerfully provides.

PW looks back at his employment history (that began at age 10) and wonders what the amount would be if all his and his employers' governmentally required "free money" deductions had been invested in a private savings account. But, then, if all workers had been allowed to do that, what would Uncle use for a slush fund?

WHILE PW IS "WONDERING," he also would like to know the cost of the other bushels of wasteful mailings he receives. PW and Miss Kitty easily receive 50 mailings a month from organizations seeking donations.

Only a few can be given a little as local donations come first. But once anything is given it is a certainty that even if a letter is sent asking them not to be sent, the pleas for money will continue FOREVER.

It makes PW feel bad to toss all this paper into the trash. But, there is no sure system in place to allow a person to opt out of receiving unwanted mail. This has a tremendous cost in trees, not to mention printing and mailing costs ... and personal irritation.

It would take the entire page for PW to list all the unsolicited mail he receives, but here are some recent items (with a few comments):

>> America's Survival Inc. - Wants money because the sender has "uncovered proof that Barack Obama ... is under the influence of identified communists, dedicated enemies of the U.S." If this is true, it would be on Fox News at the least, if not on or in every media outlet.

>> U.S. Taxpayer Opinion Survey - Ditto on the money. "Before you got this letter, were you aware that politicians ... are continuing to ‘raid' Social Security?" Well, duh ...

>> Sweepstakes Administration Office - Ditto on the money. Wants to help hospitalized veterans by offering a chance to win $25,000, assuming that the money donated would generate the prize money and more. No doubt such help would be a good thing, but this is the wrong way to solicit funds. PW prefers giving to recognizable groups, like the VFW and American Legion.

>> Republican Senate Leadership Survey (and others like it) - Ditto on the money. This is fund-raising in the guise of conducting a survey. But, PW is NOT a supporter of any political party.

>> Mount Vernon Ladies Association - Ditto on the money. It's the "Declaration of Preservation of George Washington's Legacy for America." Sounds like a good cause; PW and Miss Kitty loved touring the historic site.

>> United States Olympic Committee - Ditto on the money. This is perhaps the most persistent mailer of monetary requests. It wastes its own money sending scratch pads and mailing labels, but if you give $20 you get a T-shirt.

>> The Seniors Coalition - Ditto on the money. "Senior citizens are still paying for Bill Clinton's 1993 tax hike on Social Security benefits ..." PW would say everyone still is paying for a lot of what "Slick Willie" did and didn't do.

>> Enterprise Development International - Ditto on the money. Newt Gingrich says, "The world's most potent weapon against poverty is free-enterprise capitalism." Ain't it the truth! PW hopes Newt's common-sense approach to old-time "Americanism" will grow like a wildfire.

>> The Wilderness Society - Ditto on the money. But, labels its envelope "CONFIDENTIAL." Says the Bureau of Land Management will continue its "lease and drill everything policy ... even after the current anti-conservation administration leaves office." It's not a secret that the national average price of a gallon of gas is $4.10, though.

HAVE A SUPER SUNDAY and a wonderful week!

 Mail can be sent to 620 N. Grant, Suite 913, Odessa, TX 79761.

>> For more information, visit www.williamtells.com

Odessa, TX

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