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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.