Are You Ready for the Year 2000?
December 21, 1998
You've probably heard a lot about the Year 2000 computer
problem, commonly referred to as the Y2K problem. But
like most people, you're probably confused about the
potential consequences or the outcome of pending changes.
Who's Ready for Y2K?
For those who don't think serious problems lie ahead,
Ed Yardeni, Ph.D., chief economist of Deutsche Bank
Securities in New York, cautions:
"I believe that the burden of proof should be on the
naive optimists: Why are they so sure that most systems
will be fixed in time? I don't know of any major business
or government agency that is ready now for the Year
2000 anywhere on the planet earth. I do know that there
isn't one major U.S. government agency or S&P 500 corporation
that claims they are ready now.
"Yet, somehow, they will all be ready in time. How
do the naive optimists know that all vital systems will
be ready in time? Are they sure that the failure of
noncompliant "non-mission critical" systems won't be
very troublesome? (They should ask their employers if
their paychecks are mission-critical.) With so little
information available on which we can assess the current
status and monitor the progress of the Y2K remediation
efforts of businesses and governments around the world,
does it make any sense to simply assume that all will
be well? I don't think so," writes Dr. Yardeni.
Common Sense Says . . .
Whether you're an optimistic or a doomsayer, there
are some common sense steps everyone should take regarding
health care information.
Americans should obtain a copy of their Social Security
and Medicare earnings. By the year 2000, Medicare, the
nation's largest health insurer, expects to process
more than one billion claims and pay $288 billion in
benefits annually. However, the agency is not quite
ready to handle the Y2K problems that lie ahead. So
why take a chance on whether it will be able to accurately
account for your Medicare contributions (and benefits)
after 2000? Get that information now.
[You can obtain a copy of your Medicare contributions
record by calling the Social Security Administration
at (800) 772-1213.]
This article was originally published in the November/December
1998 issue of Health Freedom Watch.
You've probably heard a lot about the Year 2000
computer problem, commonly referred to as the Y2K
problem. . . Whether you're an optimistic or a doomsayer,
there are some common sense steps everyone should
take regarding health care information.