Years ago, I obtained a divorce and wanted to purchase a home to live. Home prices were high, but not bad. Had I had the opportunity to purchase a home, I could have ridden the wave of the 125% increase in home prices, over just a few years (in Florida). I was paying child support, but needed a roof over my head. I applied for a mortgage. The home I was looking into purchasing would have, with a mortgage, meant I would have paid a PITA almost equivalent to rent on a small apartment. However, the elements in banking with whom I dealt told me that I would not get approval, considering the cost-to-income ratio when the child-support was figured into the equation. Seemed rather bizarre, considering that a mortgage was awarded to the ex-wife and the cost-to-income ratio for her was worse than mine. She got the approval and I did not. I fought this effort by use of a lawyer who never won the case and I ended up paying $25K to this law firm in Florida.
Furthermore, it revealed to me the criminal elements which exist in banking. For those at the mortgage company tried to talk me into filing the application and NOT revealing the child custody payments. My reaction was one of being appalled at such a suggestion because, as I told these guys, they were asking me to lie. I don’t lie. My mother really pushed that idea into me. Do not lie. So I ended up dropping all of that pursuit and rented an apartment, then losing money on a mobile home, due to the high cost of homeowners’ insurance in Florida. The insurance on the mobile home was actually higher than what I eventually paid in a cement block home. Sure. Just pay it for the more expensive one. But there was no mortgage available, with my child support figured into the equation. I am glad I paid to support my kids. I am pissed off at criminals in banking and the rules they made which favored one side of the divorce couple and not the other side.
Jump forward some 20 years after the incident described above. I am told that my injection in the eyes for diabetic retinopathy would be the same medication used for macular degeneration. The injections were covered by an employer-provided healthcare insurance, but not with privatized Medicare at age 65 forward. So, I was told to lie and make the claim by saying I have macular degeneration. Once again, criminals asking me to lie. Once again, I had learned from my mother not to lie. I have appealed and filed grievances about this with privatized Medicare company, WellCare and received nothing. I am expected to pay the bill at Guthrie, due to wrongful practices in privatized Medicare. It has now been more than one year and I still fight.
Furthermore, my experiences regarding a PPO insurance plan are absolutely absurd. In other PPO or HMO plans, the co-payments are set. One for PCP. One for specialist, etc. It is known to the patient, but apparently the management of healthcare providers does not bother to educate their employees about it. Or else we just have a whole bunch of really dumb employees out there who don’t know anything. Sorry, but I don’t believe the later. Several times, I would ask if I could pay at the time services were rendered. Each time, I was told, “there is no cost,” including the one with the eye injection. Then months later, I get slammed with a bill. Six months after one doctor’s visit, I am slammed with the amount of the co-payment which I was told “there is no payment.” I repeat. Six months after I asked to pay the bill while in the health facility and a bill for the co-payment is handed to me.
Once again, I file a “grievance” (complaint) with the privatized Medicare firm, WellCare, stating my complaint against being told “there was no payment” and then being told, later, that there was a payment. The reply from WellCare, this morning (July 1, 2021) was that they could handle the complaint that “I did not want to pay the bill.” But wait. The aspersion was being cast on me as if I was like a Donald Trump who does not want to pay his taxes. I then said that there was never any indication I did not want to pay the bill, in fact, I HAVE PAID THE CO-PAYMENT. My complaint was about being told there was no payment, but then the COMPANY – the MEDICAL FIRM RUN BY A BUNCH OF MANAGERS OUT OF NEW YORK CITY – turned and reversed what was told to me.
The reply from WellCare? “You need to file another grievance and file it against the worker who told me this. Oh. I see. file something against the low man on the totem pole. I see. So this has happened in TWO DIFFERENT MEDICAL FIRMS, one in New York City and one based in Pennsylvania (offices) with offices in the Binghamton area. I see. My intent was to file against the management of the firm, but the low person on the totem pole is the one to be held responsible? I went back and forth with WellCare on this issue, to no avail.
It is the responsibility of management, not that person. I REFUSE to file anything against that hard-working person in the office. The problem is the accounting folks and management, not the healthcare worker.
I resent anyone in America, such as at WellCare, who would infringe on the hard work of an American doing their job. In this case, there were those at the other medical firm doing THEIR job, too, and the results were the same. I guess we just have a bunch of lazy bums all over the place in the lower ranks of the healthcare profession, right?
Or is this a matter of uncivil people running the affairs who don’t like a union person like me? I am still a member of a union, although I am retired. So what would stop those anti-union folks with plenty of money, from Trump onward, from working to destroy, financially, such a person as myself by casting aspersions on me, so as to say I don’t want to pay a bill. Liars, liars, pants on fire.
With the other organization with a similar episode as the one which I filed with WellCare – the one with the eye injection – I had already filed a complaint about the similar event there. In other words, telling me I did not owe anything at the time of service, then coming back later to claim I do. It was the accounting office at that organization which screwed up and filed, in May 2020, with BC&BS, after I had begun on Medicare WellCare in April 2020. I had informed the business and accounting people of the change. Had submitted my new Medicare and WellCare card. Yet, they still filed with BC&BS. I had to go back several times and provide copies of the cards, again and again. It finally went to WellCare. WellCare supposedly paid it. Now all of a sudden, it, once again is whammed up my butte – again. It disappeared on my account and then reappeared. This is the medical facility which helped my dad, a WWII veteran, with bypass surgery and so forth. Don’t know who runs the business end of it there in Pennsylvania, but they are screwed up.
These events run within New York and New York City, but also over state lines. It is a Federal issue, is it not? So I also complained to Medicare, too. Still don’t know the outcome of that.
One thing I can say. I never experienced such things with BC&BS of Florida, my employer-provided healthcare. Since being retired, it has been like hell on earth.
With the example of the banker in about 2002 / 2003 telling me to lie in order to get a mortgage, to a doctor telling me to lie about my medical condition, I am appalled at what I have experienced when it was suggested I lie. A banker in Florida. Business offices in New York and Pennsylvania.
I have always opposed the income and sales taxes in the states and in America. I have watched, since I was a young lad, people acting like Donald Trump and avoiding taxes. I have promoted the idea from conservatives about having a value-added tax, so as to remove the amount of paper shuffling and tax accountant and lawyers in building businesses on number crunching and paper shuffling, while small businesses watch their profits eaten away by spending money on tax books.
I have observed, since a lad, many such people who work to accept only cash for business, in order to avoid paying the taxes. In effect, I side with them on their disdain for such taxes, but they act like I am an enemy because: (1) I won’t lie and cheat and (2) I don’t break the law by not paying such taxes. I speak out against such taxes, but I provide suggestions and plans for reform, not destruction of taxes. I try my best to pay taxes by hiring an accounting firm to do my taxes.
So, my question is this. Why do so damn many people who don’t like to pay taxes in this manner (guided by a convoluted tax code in a tome), as opposed to the front page of the New York Times publishing the first tax code in the early part of the 20th Century? Why has America gotten to such a point that we figure we need to lie, cheat, and break the law, rather than fix these things, and then scoff at someone like me (or many others) who provides suggestions for reform, rather than destruction? Why have we come to this state of affairs with upper class and lower classes fighting and pitting one against the other by trying to shove more taxes off on the other class? Fighting within America.
Then the lousy Republican legislatures in many states don’t pay attention to these issues, but work to gerrymander for their own benefit, create one-party states like that of Putin of Russia (a former communist and KGB officer) try to repress the means of voting and use a stupid Supreme Court which comes to the rescue of these SOBs? These lousy people are misguided dolts bent on destruction of America and dividing us between upper and lower classes and between the races. Destroy, like a bunch of gladiators in a Giuliani-favored Roman arena.
With all the financial things which have happened to me since Reagan’s time, I have had to work hard to pull myself up by the bootstraps. Yet, no one has any ounce of consolation for me. I guess I don’t expect such. But I do expect to be respected, not scoffed, at what I attempt to do in the name of reform, not destruction. Even John Lennon, whom some lie about who or what he was, has words in a song about “revolution” which states that “if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you can count me out.” Yet, a woman who owned a small business and did not like parts of Obamacare which impacted HER only, could not give one damn about what I have had to experience and overcome it all without looking to a lousy man and his Republicans, named Donald Trump. She felt she had to and wanted Obamacare destroyed, not reformed so as to improve some of what bothered her in her business. I understand her concerns. Does she or others even try to make an attempt to understand me with my observations and experiences over many years? I doubt it.
In America, there was a cartoon character called Underdog. America was once more about helping the underdog. To me, it was not just help by giving out handouts (which also include handouts in something called corporate welfare), but by working to help the “underdog.” All of that idea about working for ALL people at the grassroots – the “underdogs” of America – has been tossed away and forgotten. Instead, we listen to the drivel generated by individualist love of money thinking which has always been here, but emboldened by people such as Ayn Rand, J.P. Morgan, Donald Trump, and others. It’s time we drove such people out of power and get rid of the notions that conservatism is nothing but white superiority. Nothing else but that notion gets attention and this can be seen by one-party Republican states and now six dolts on the U.S. Supreme Court. They say follow the money. So who paid off those six justices to give a decision which favors the suppression of voting rights? Who has paid off the Republican jerks in those one-party states to suppress voting rights and not consider any other measures which are necessary for this nation to survive as a democracy?
On this July 4th holiday weekend, I say that I love America for what it has done for me over the ages to bring me life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But my love for this nation and its democracy are why I am embarrassed by the bulls**t coming from Trumpicans and the white supremacists with their superiority complexes and feeling so guilty by what I might say they proclaim damn paranoid feelings about a “witch hunt.” Go to hell, Trumpicans and shut your mouths, for you do nothing to help guide this nation by helping the underdogs or ALL the people – WE THE PEOPLE who love this nation and what it has given us, in spite of imperfections, since July 4, 1776. I appreciate so many who came before me in this nation and I can trace many of my ancestors back to 1776 and more than a century before that, on the soil which became the USA.
Solutions to Improve American Government
Our American forefathers left us a great government. The problems it faces today is due to some Americans who do not work with reasoning and rationality by trying to destroy rather than reform. Add to this the ability of our Federal legislative to be run by politicians who are career lawyers, not representatives of the people, and we have a real problem. However, I remain optimistic that Americans can work together to solve our problems which result from human imperfections.
Will these work? How the hell do I know? However, I offer an optimistic view for the future possibilities, not one of pessimism. We need to shed the pessimism and acknowledge that government and human institutions are imperfect.