Jackson & Desilva On FutureCare

December 5, 2011

[Updated] This evening [Dec.4] Minister of Health Zane Desilva issued a statement in response to a statement by One Bermuda Alliance MP Louise Jackson.

Mrs Jackson, the Opposition’s spokesperson on Seniors, said “Health Minister Zane DeSilva today on radio called me a liar over the lack of accurate written information about the benefits of FutureCare Phase 1.

“I stand by my comments and challenge the Minister to call me a liar to seniors who’ve received medical bills for thousands of dollars for a 25% co-pay they knew nothing about.”

Minister Desilva said, “After I corrected inaccurate claims made in the media by MP Louise Jackson in the House of Assembly on Friday, MP Jackson repeated those inaccurate claims on a local talk show on Sunday Morning.

“I was alerted to this, and contacted the talk show host so that I could again correct the record and share the facts with the people of Bermuda.

“It is disturbing that even after the record was corrected in the House of Assembly, MP Jackson continues to spread misinformation. Her actions show that the opposition is so desperate that they will mislead our seniors.”

Mrs Jackson’s full statement follows below:

Health Minister Zane DeSilva today on radio called me a liar over the lack of accurate written information about the benefits of FutureCare Phase 1.

I stand by my comments and challenge the Minister to call me a liar to seniors who’ve received medical bills for thousands of dollars for a 25% co-pay they knew nothing about.

I challenge him to call me a liar to seniors who read a FutureCare brochure that said overseas care would be provided for emergency services.

And I challenge him to call me a liar to seniors who did not understand that their HIP benefits would not be fully extended to FutureCare.

The controversy on the Shirley Dill Sunday morning radio show was prompted by a statement I released last week urging the Government to do a better job informing seniors about FutureCare’s different levels of coverage.

The statement was based on conversations with seniors who revealed confusion and misunderstanding about their financial obligations under FutureCare.

On Friday, the Minister read a statement in the House of Assembly saying, in effect, that Government had done enough to inform seniors.

It is my view that Government did not do a good job informing seniors about FutureCare’s different levels of coverage when the programme was first rolled out, and that seniors remain misinformed and under-informed because of it.
Government has a special responsibility in this regard.

Town hall meetings and films and a ministerial statement in the House of Assembly by the late Nelson Bascome do not constitute effective, comprehensive communication with seniors of a new life-affecting health care plan.

In my judgment, it is critical that seniors first and foremost be given accurate information in their hands in black and white.

The purpose of my statement was to point out the need to communicate more effectively with seniors on a matter of extreme importance to them, from health and financial points of view.

Instead the Minister is trying once again to discredit me.

In conclusion, we need people in government who are more focused on protecting people than protecting their political backsides. I urge the Minister to take steps to minimize the confusions and misunderstandings we know are out there.

Minister Desilva’s full statement follows below:

After I corrected inaccurate claims made in the media by MP Louise Jackson in the House of Assembly on Friday, MP Jackson repeated those inaccurate claims on a local talk show on Sunday Morning.

I was alerted to this, and contacted the talk show host so that I could again correct the record and share the facts with the people of Bermuda.

It is disturbing that even after the record was corrected in the House of Assembly, MP Jackson continues to spread misinformation. Her actions show that the opposition is so desperate that they will mislead our seniors.

Every time MP Jackson misrepresents the record on Government’s Health policy or future care, I will correct it. I will not apologise for stating facts.

As evidenced by MP Jackson’s statement claiming that I called her a liar; the OBA is short on ideas, but full of attacks without offering an alternative.

Only the OBA would criticise a program that provides an affordable option for health care coverage for our seniors and saves them up to 75% when compared to the private sector.

This government will continue to stand by our seniors, and we will vigorously correct our record against disingenuous opposition attacks.

The opposition statements are nothing more than an attempt to mislead and distract Bermudians from the work this government continues to do on a daily basis.

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Comments (50)

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  1. GrassRoots says:

    Why is Aunt Louise always lying to people. The woman needs to get her facts straight.

    Read this http://bernews.com/2011/12/health-minister-speaks-on-futurecare/

    • kiskadee says:

      Mrs Jackson is a refined Bermudian lady and needs to be addressed as one. Zane De Silva is just an ignorant little man.

      • Lion King says:

        How come Mrs. Jackson suddenly care about seniors? Is it because she is old. Well here is a story for you. My father used to try and play with Mrs. Jackson’s children but when they cam out to play with her children she would call tham in the house because we were to poor and seen as not being priviledged. Suddenly Mrs. Jackson care about something. I don’t think so because it is my feeling that she is trying to get back into the House. Weezy go on a cruise and put your feet up and if you break one I promise you that Future Care wull fix it. Weezy you said this when you were the UBP, the BDA and now thw OBA. Same church different seat.

  2. Portia says:

    GrassRoots, I think Ms.Jackson deserves a bit more respect then to be called “Aunt Louise.” Why do we treat our seniors so shabbily in Bermuda?

    From the statement he released earlier, Zane says that there were many town hall meeting about the FutureCare changes, yet he conveniently does not mention HOW MANY seniors attended these meetings. What percentage of Future Care patients were involved? Zane is just blowing smoke by saying “Look how many meeting we had!” yet obviously, if seniors did not know or understand the changes, then the information was not communicated to them properly. Considering that many seniors are physically disabled (and therefore, not allowed to ride the buses – see Bernews story yesterday) that likely affected the number that could come to town hall meetings. Plus, many seniors are not IT or media savvy, so he shouldn’t take for granted that they would find this information on the internet. Ms. Jackson is not lying, she is merely reporting what seniors have told her that they have experienced and were unaware of.

  3. LaVerne Furbert says:

    I listened to the Shirley Dill Show on Sunday morning and at no time did I hear Minister DeSilva call Mrs. Jackson a liar.

    Mrs. Jackson says that “Town hall meetings and films and a ministerial statement” are not enough to communicate to seniors about the benefits of Future Care. Mrs. Jackson knows that the Government does more than that to commuicate to seniors about Future Care, but she would prefer to cry “fire” in a crowded theatre.

    Those of us who listen to the debates in the House of Assembly know that each successive PLP Minister of Health, starting with the late Nelson Bascome, have had to continue to correct Mrs. Jackson when she speaks about seniors and Future Care.

    It’s time for Mrs. Jackson to stop trying to grab headlines.

    It’s hard to believe that the OBA’s p.r. people would go along with her on this one and issue a press statement.

    • Just The Facts says:

      It’s difficult listening to you LaVerne on a he-said-she-said debate. You stood on stage and called Shawn Crockwell a “confused negro” then you claimed you never said it, then you got all silent when the video of you saying it went viral. Hey, I’m not accusing you of anything…it’s a factual observation. On the political front you have lost so much credibility that even the current Premier wants to distance herself from you. Have you ever thought of creating your own Party? I think you would stand a decent chance of getting a seat in Parliament where you would have much more influence over PLP policy.

    • Just The Facts says:

      BTW…this whole “thing” between Zane and Louis is like listenting to bunch of children.

  4. sigh says:

    Mrs Jackson has gone from being a seniors advocate to a fear mongering alarmist who will say anythng, even misrepresent the facts, to rile up the seniors. It is unfortunate that her legacy will become one of ‘by any means necessary’ as she will say anything, even cause seniors emotional distress just in futile attempts to score political points.

  5. sigh says:

    Also Mrs Jackson says “Town hall meetings and films and a ministerial statement in the House of Assembly by the late Nelson Bascome do not constitute effective, comprehensive communication with seniors of a new life-affecting health care plan.”

    What would Mrs Jackson and the OBA do to more effectively get the message across? Minister Desilva listed a litany of avenues the Govt has taken to get the message of FutureCare to the people.

    This is yet another case of criticism for criticism’s sake.

  6. sandgrownan says:

    A government minister calling someone else disingenuous. Without a hint of irony too.

    • Tell the truth says:

      Pamplin uses that word “disingenuous” ever time I listen to her in the house. Makes one wonder if she is the only one that tells the truth?

      I also listened and never heard the minister call mrs. jackson a liar. I do admire ms. jackson but she does ramble on at times and to be honest her constituents are not the ones on future care. It would be interesting to see how many in fairylands do subscribe to government insurance schemes.

      • PEPPER says:

        Minister Desilva, on the sunday talk show said that Mrs Jackson was telling untruths in other words she was telling lies …How did this man become our health minister ?

  7. Cancer says:

    Zane’s always trying to pull something.

    • PEPPER says:

      Minister Desilva ,thought he could pull the wool over Shirley Dill’s eyes ,this lady is the best talk show host Bermuda has ever had and she is not afraid to ask the tough questions .

  8. Garry Marshall says:

    What do you expect from a person that is very close friends with our former Premier? He will NEVER and i repeat NEVER ever get a vote from me or any other of his PLP colleagues.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Which former Premier are you talking about? Sir David Gibbons, Sir John Sharpe, Sir John Swan, Dr. David Saul or Dame Pamela Gordon?

      Exactly what are you trying to say?

      • Dee says:

        Ms. Furbert I think you know exactly which Premier Mr. Marshall is talking about and also what he is trying to say!!

      • pebblebeach says:

        Did they not fire you from the Senate…enough is enough…if your asking that question, I see why…

  9. @ Gary, we were not asking for your vote and will NEVER ask for a vote from the likes of you.

  10. Pastor Syl says:

    Legal Eagle in a previous post (see link above)ststed: “Minister–FYI, Seniors were NOT fully informed during the information sessions you list AND were even restricted in the amount of questions they were permitted to ask. I know this because I was there—YOU were NOT!! While I agree Futurecare is an improvement over HIP, please explain 1) the logic (or lack thereof) of differing costs for equivalent Futurecare coverage AND 2) while every insurance Co.CURRENTLY waives the co-pay if the client accepts the generic rather than the more expensive name brand (thereby saving $$ for BOTH the clint and insurer)— Futurecare does NOT!!!”

    In addition, when dealing with the elderly (and sometimes with the not so elderly) it is imperative to have the facts spelled out in black and white. Something as important, significant and potentially expensive as a 25% co-pay plus airfare and hotel costs for overseas care should surely be included in the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)not hidden in 7 pages of information. When one is sick, that’s when the pertinent information required to make informed decisions needs to be easily accessible, because one’s ability to concentrate is even more impaired than normal.Some of the downsides of becoming a senior include short-term memory loss and a tendency to become easily confused by convoluted verbiage (in which insurance information often is written-I often think it is designed to be confusing just so the insurers can avoid payouts while telling you “it’s right there in the brochure).

    If seniors are telling Mrs. Jackson they didn’t know about these issues, that means despite whatever has been previously done to inform them, it was not enough.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      I find it very interesting that seniors are always complaining to Mrs. Jackson and not the Minister. Mrs. Jackson can do nothing to help seniors, other than listen to their complaints. What she should be doing is referring seniors to the Minister or the relevant government department, she tries to score political points.

      • sandgrownan says:

        I think that’s a demonstration of how little faith people have in the PLP, their ability to listen, and their ability to act.
        The last 13 years have deomostrated incompetance, unethical behaviour, beligerant and aggressive behaviour to anyone who dare question, and plain old stupidity. Why would anyone want to talk to the HNIC? Ms. Jackson is doing exactly as she should by continually fighting for rights seniors.
        How dare you criticise her motives.

      • navin johnson says:

        The Health Minister is a full time contractor who plays a lot of golf….he also through his affiliation with the Government of the day was appointed to be The Health Minister and therefore an expert on Health care and the issues facing seniors…As far as Politicians scoring political points? thats what you do for that is what policians are and if any one thinks that the Health Minister does this out of the goodness of his heart? right….not in a million years….My money is on Mrs. Jackson when it comes to the truth….televise the house on CITV……

      • B, a Lady says:

        We talk to Mrs. Jackson because she LISTENS, unlike the PLP lot who just look at you, nod, or check their BB’s while you are talking to them. I beg of you, PLP, call an election please.

  11. The Health Minister Zane DeSilva cannot produce a brouchure or any comprehensive written communication that show the benefits of FutureCare from the Phase1 launch in 2009.

    Town Hall meetings,films, and Ministerial statements are not enough. Seniors and any client of a health care plan must be given full information in their hands in black and white.

    This information was not given out until Phase 2 of FutureCare in March of 2010 one year later.

    Minister DeSila, SHOW SENIORS A WRITTEN COMMUNICATION SHOWING BENEFITS IN 2009 WHEN FUTURECARE WAS LAUNCHED.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Mrs. Jackson,

      Would you suggest that the Minister now communicate the information to seniors by way of a letter, apologising for what happened in 2009?

      The fact of the matter remains, that the information is out there now. What are you trying to prove?

      • navin johnson says:

        Mrs Furbert how about a letter from the PLP Government apologising for what happened in 1998…..13 years of lies and abject failure with the mountain of debt and rising everyday….who would argue that had it not been for Mrs Jackson the information would not be out there now…..

    • Whatever says:

      great response Louise, that is why I keep telling them they are wrong to try and replace you. Stick to your guns and don’t let the oba do to you what you and the others did to the UBP.

    • nightmare reality says:

      a little late louise, why did you not harp on this back in 2009, to me, it shows that you were not on the ball back then? Did you in the middle of the night have a nightmare and wanted to share and scare the seniors that don’t vote OBA/UBP

    • specialgirl4you says:

      Please come on, The government are off to a great start working on the behalf of seniors!! They have offered Seniors more than the UBP/OBA, which reflects they care for the Senior of Bermuda. The UBP were in power for over 30 years. The UBP/OBA did not provide 1/2 of the things that the PLP have done for Seniors. The PLP continue to look out in the “Best interest of Seniors”. After all, most government members also have Seniors living in their households.

      Every new programme or initiative always takes a bit of time before individuals become familiar with all the details. If is evident that the best of approaches such as; advertisement, flyers, town hall meeting, personal interviews, never guarantees that persons will understand every aspect of a programme. Even after doing all of that, some persons still do not gain full knowledge of the programme. Ask the average government worker do they understand all what GEHI offers them……most do not. Many have to refer to others for answers or read the GEHI booklet., and many do not understand fully what they read. But this is not unusual. Over a period of time, and actually interacting with a programme is when persons fully gain full understanding of anything. Often Seniors take a little longer to grasp the full details of most health care programmes.

      Lets be honest about the implementation and development of a new programme such as “Future Care” It takes time to get it spot on. All new programmes require revisions, review and upgrading from time to time. However, I believe that this government is working hard, to provide Seniors with the best option available in terms of health care. That alone is a big undertaking by this government. All over the world health care is very costly service, and more expensive as there is an aging population. Worldwide, governments are challenged with how to meet this specific concern for the elderly and all persons.

      It would have been more helpful if Mrs. Jackson (OBA/UBP) would begin to reach out to Seniors to help them understand “Future Care” and other healthcare options, rather than look for a weak link in the programme to attack the Minister or government. She could have also suggested ideas of how the programme may be improved, if this is required. As all new programmes have some strengths and a few weaknesses, but as time moves on these issues are usually revised. I recall Mr. Cannioner boldly stating that the party was seeking to work in a more collaborative manner rather than an attacking fashion ,,,,,maybe he forgot to inform Mrs.Jackson. We get no were with this negative seeking of information, or finding something that is not significance to the value of the programme. Mrs. Jackson’s approach and attempt to deal with such an issues as health care,, sounds more like the UBP shouting out OBA is the same as the UBP. Show me change !!!

  12. Terry says:

    You tell um Louise.

    All about money.

    • Wondering says:

      Exactly.

      Another thing is why does it cost so much to place people in the Extended Care Unit of the KEMH, per week opposed to them staying say at Lefroy House?

  13. Lady Scribbler says:

    Surely it is a simple matter to create a brochure or sheet listing coverage for seniors? The insurance companies do this routinely for employees everywhere. Printed literature should have been step one, giving the participants a chance to absorb the information BEFORE attending a town hall etc. To state that they have access to the information via the internet is unacceptable- and I am a long way from being a senior. With due respect to all Ministers here,this is not rocket science but basic communication.

  14. Chardonnay says:

    When I was self employed, I got a big brochure from Argus telling me EXACTLY what was covered by my insurance. EXACTLY!!! Future Care has DECEIVED the elderly, first with a low entry premium for those getting in first wave that they couldn’t extend to anyone else; second with advising that Future Care would pay for any overseas treatments not available in Bermuda with no mention of HUGE co-payment; third with not telling seniors that Future Care does not include transportation or per diem to/from/when overseas (got $20,000 spare to cover air ambulance, taxis, hotels when outpatient and too sick to travel back, etc.?); and third with doubling the premium for the second wave. THEN this dopey PLP Government let all the employers rub their hands together and dump all seniors off their corporate policies and onto the taxpayer. And FINALLY, for all you nasties who are attacking the messenger, Mrs. Jackson, it is you, the tax-payer,who is paying the difference between $1100+ actual cost of each FutureCare premium and the TAXPAYER SUBSIDIZED premium of either $300+ or $600+. So suck it up taxpayer, you are getting SHAFTED. And thank-you Mrs. Jackson for having the courage and intestinal fortitude to be the messenger.

    • Wondering says:

      this is why I am so glad my Mom is with GEHI and don’t they dare begin to play games with us…..

  15. Whatever says:

    really can’t believe is the rumours that the OBA wants to get rid of Louise and Pamplin they are the true pit bulls of bull

  16. Tired Mum says:

    Surely, Mrs Furbert, the point of Mrs Jackson’s is that the information wasn’t there when seniors signed up for Future Care. In the gap between 2009 and 2011 (nearly 2012), people can have incurred huge costs without full knowledge of what they were liable for. If you had had a bout of severe illness in 2009 requiring hospitalisation abroad, then the fact that this information is out there now is a case of much too little, much too late.
    We need to protect our seniors – they are amongst the most vulnerable in our society, and should be treated with respect and dignity.
    On another slightly different note, I suspect that the reason people complain to Mrs Jackson is because she works tirelessly to advocate for seniors – something she should be respected for, even if you don’t necessarily agree with her opinion. Any MP has a right to bring the public’s issues and concerns to the forefront of public consciousness – that’s surely what democracy is all about, party politics aside!?

  17. 32n64w says:

    I challenge anyone to locate a comprehensive summary of Future Care benefits on the DoH website (http://www.health.gov.bm/portal/server.pt) that confirms overseas care is covered up to 75%. The 2 page brochure (which is likely all you will find online) last updated in 2010 states coverage includes:

    “Overseas care for emergency procedures and procedures not offered in Bermuda at rates approved by the Bermuda Health Council”.

    Also under section 4 (exclusions) it does confirm “Transportation or travel other than local emergency ambulance service. Airfare and hotel costs for overseas care are also excluded;”

    For a Ministry that defines its core values to include:

    1. Service
    2. Accountability
    3. Equity
    4. Prevention
    5. Collaboration
    6. Knowledge-based

    … their public facing actions say otherwise.

    Mrs. Jackson is absolutely right. A PLP Government road show is no suitable replacement for a detailed benefits summary.

  18. Rockfish#2 says:

    If you decided to purchase a used car,who would you deal with? DeSilva or Jackson?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      No need to think about the answer to that one too much?

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Have you ever had any business dealings with Minister DeSilva? Have you ever had any business dealings with Mrs. Jackson?

      I’ve dealt with them both, before either of them entered politics. Zane DeSilva came through while Mrs. Jackson gave excuses as to why she couldn’t assist.

      • PEPPER says:

        Lavern ,I think most Bermudians know about Zane and his dealings ..why the hell are you protecting him?

  19. specialgirl4you says:

    The entire debate over “Future Care” is lost, Mrs Jackson clearly reminds me that the OBA is the UBP, NO real change. She continues to address and approach issues in the same old fashion as she did under the UBP. I recall this began to pose a real problem to them. (But the horse is out of stable once again…figure of speech). At one stage there was a movement to remove her. This will not help the OBA, because Mrs.Jackson is a clear reminder of the UBP, and persons will begin to questions, where is there a real difference? The OBA is acting and responding as the UBP did, and so this suggest just a name change. Mr. Cannioner indicated that he was looking for a new way forward, but this is far from it…….I not sure he can control or monitor Mrs. Jackson. She makes noise even when facts are put directly in her face.

    • navin johnson says:

      sure your are not talking about Laverne Special girl?

    • Shaking the Head says:

      At least she brings up points of order, unlike you being you, Betty Trump and LaVerne Furbert.

  20. victim of the recession says:

    Rockfish#2,

    Definitely, Jackson as she’s very honest. While DeSilva, as per usual, is just in it for himself . . . So just imagine what type of lemon he would sell you & it is rather ironic that Future Care health insurance is being sold the same way to the elderly with his BS. I wonder if he would suggest Future Care to his elderly close relatives or tell them to stay on a private insurance???

  21. Legal Eagle says:

    On Everest DeCosta’s program today, Minister Desilva invited people to contact him directly regarding their Futurecare concerns–however did not give his contact information. His mobile #s are 505-3011 and (I believe) 789-1900. His email address is ZDesilva@gov.bm. I know the first is accurate and understand the others are. I post them in the hope they will be used to communicate CONSTRUCTIVE concerns ONLY–and NOT abused for vitriolic personal attacks!!!

  22. James says:

    I would not trust Zane with my cat’s litter let alone my future…

  23. RobbieM says:

    It now looks like Minister DeSilva owes Minister Jackson a sincere apology considering the latest confessions from the Ministry of Health about not informing their clients about the 25% co-pay for outside physician services at our local hospital.