If There is a Hell….

Yesterday, I wondered just how venal and despicable our politicians and plutocrats will be allowed to get  before they trigger an inevitable revolt.

Rick Scott, the obscenely rich and demonstrably corrupt Governor of Florida, is evidently trying to push those limits.

The Miami Herald obtained thousands of pages of health department documents under the state’s public records law, including nearly 800 emails and hundreds of memos and reports that detailed the state’s plan to “restructure” CMS. They show that the elimination of children from CMS was the result of a plan to slash spending on sick kids at a time when Florida had a $635.4 million surplus. For the legislative session that begins next month, Gov. Rick Scott has proposed $1 billion in new tax cuts. The spending plan would eliminate an additional 718 health department positions. […]

The parents of one Palm Beach County infant learned on the eve of a critical craniofacial surgery that their 6-month-old son had been “screened out” of CMS. The little boy is profoundly disabled, records show, having been born deaf, without eyes, and with a disfiguring cleft palate. The child’s mother called CMS in preparation for the surgery, only to be told “the screening is showing ‘NO,’ so they would not do anything.”

A post at DailyKos explained the program and summed up the situation:

This program—for Medicaid-qualified children and for those whose parents make too much for Medicaid coverage but not enough for private insurance—provides more intervention with specialists and care devised for kids with special medical needs. Some of the activities of the CMS, like “providing care coordinators to help parents access therapy and medication, and organizing one-stop clinics for kids with sickle cell disease, HIV or cleft palates,” just doesn’t happen with Medicaid.

But there was too much need in the state for the program. It was getting too many enrollees and it became too expensive to treat these kids, so the state had some options. Not having $1 billion in new tax cuts was not among the options. Dropping 9,000 kids was what they settled on.

Rick Scott’s priorities. Excuse me while I take a long shower….

38 thoughts on “If There is a Hell….

  1. Florida’s Medicaid program also targets adults; the story about the seriously ill infant with unbelievable birth defects is the worst I have heard but there are other glitches in their system which deny needed and deserved Medicaid coverage.

    In December 2008 my son was rear-ended in his pickup truck resulting in seven fractured vertebrae and permanent disability. He had to sell almost all he had worked for during his adult life to live; I helped with what I could from my Social Security checks, savings and closing out small CDs. With the aid of the attorney covering his vehicle insurance it took 15 months to be approved for Medicaid even though he had no income and no hopes of an income. The Medicaid doctors, while treating his injury, discovered he had terminal cancer; far too late for treatment but he did receive some pain treatments for the fractured spine. Another year passed and he qualified for Social Security Disability; he received his first monthly check for $1,495 on a Monday, on Friday he received notification of cancellation of his Medicaid because his income was too high. Each pain treatment for his fractured spine was $800. I wrote to Michelle Obama; my letter was forwarded to the Medicaid/Medicare office covering his area. They wrote to me and sent the form for my son to apply for Medically Needy assistance through his local Medicaid office. He would have qualified for a small percentage of assistance on medical bills IF he spent $1,210 per month for medical care out of his $1,495 per month Disability check leaving him $285 monthly to live on.

    He had only been qualified for and receiving Medicare coverage for 6-8 months when he was found dead in his Florida home on January 14, 2013.

  2. JoAnn, your story about your son is so sad. I noticed how quickly he was removed from Medicaid in contrast to how long it took to qualify for and obtain necessary assistance. The dollars just don’t make sense – it seems that there had to be a mistake made by Medicaid in figuring out what assistance he qualified for. So sorry for his and your suffering.

  3. Awful. These Republicans are simply awful. WHY do poor people keep voting for Republicans? Is the Hate that strong that they will continue to vote against their own families? Get out the Pitchforks?

  4. Sarah Palin sought political celebrity by threatening the public with “death panels” if we refused to give her her way. Horrors that those liberals would pick who among us would live or die for the sake of the budget.

    That now seems kind compared to the devastation wreaked on the country by her cohorts. If you don’t pass the wealth test you are expendable.

    There’s is not a country but a country club.

  5. Listen, these stories are awful but we have to find a way to get people to vote or this will continue and more and more people will suffer and some die. (JoAnn, I’m so sorry to hear about your son, that’s just another awful loss to have to live with).
    We have to get people involved again.
    #FeelTheBern

  6. Indiana operates its programs the same way. It’s truly all about the money – people be damned.

  7. @Sheila

    “Yesterday, I wondered just how venal and despicable our politicians will be allowed to get before they trigger an inevitable revolt. Rick Scott, the obscenity rich and demonstrably corrupt Governor of Florida, is evidently trying to push those limits.”

    Maybe now you’ll Hoosiers can understand why I continue to harp on Jacksonville. Jacksonville is Governor Scott’s baby.

    See there’s something much worse than Governor Pence. When the revolt comes, first it will be in Jacksonville, FLORIDA.

    To be real honest, it has already started. Take a good look at http://www.EthicalForum.community.
    As Sun Tzu would say: “You have to win before you start.”

  8. I am saddened for the people who have suffered as a result of Scott’s actions. I am amazed that people voted for him not once but twice. Doesn’t anyone pay attention to the candidates for whom they vote? Scott was corrupt in business- do some research!! Why would anybody think he would be an honest and caring governor. He is an evil man who cares about no one but himself!

  9. Nancy and AgingLGrl; thank you for your kind thoughts. Mark reported the problem to the insurance attorney who worked to get him qualified for Medicaid. The attorney told him that is how the Medicaid system works.

  10. Sheila, thanks for highlighting what a terrible situation we have here in Florida. I look forward to the day he leaves office, and I hope we get someone batter.

  11. JoAnn: That’s messed up. Very sorry for your loss. All of them are just so sad. Hugs. Hope you have a nice holiday despite all that.

  12. Pete,

    “If you don’t pass the wealth test you’re expendable. There’s is not a country but a country club.”

    You’re absolutely right. When we get down to it’s not a country but all about country clubs.

    Under the Bush controlled caste system, there’s a #1 country club. Despite owning all his golf courses, Donald Trump, I am sure, is still not a member of the #1 country club and never will be despite his billions and even if he’s elected President.

    So now Trump can get even by destroying the Bush political dynasty as well as the Republican Party. Wow! What an ego. What a great guy. A one man wrecking crew.

    That’s why he’s so friendly with another terrific fellow: Florida’s “Tea Party” Governor: Rick Scott

  13. Bernie Sanders wants Medicare for all. If we looked at the Health Care here in the USA as a physical object say an automobile. Some would have the bright red Ferrari. You can have the Ferrari Coverage if and only if you can afford it. Given the totally dysfunctional Health Care System the Health Care vehicle has no wheel on the passenger front, a square wheel on the passenger rear side and tracks on the driver side.
    This complex Health Care System has Ferrari coverage and “Yugo” Coverage (if you remember that car). It depends on what you can afford. There are deductibles, co-pays, and coverage gaps. The bottom line is our Health Care system is not based on delivering the best for all, but it is based upon profit.

    How many people die in this country because they cannot afford an annual physical or the remedial medical action to preserve good heath??? The fools in this country that object to Medicare or Medicaid for all, listen to the political dog whistle of Socialized Medicine, which in their minds means Sarah Palins death panels, and healthcare rationing. Well we have rationing now with our Profit based system!!!

    We need a Pro-Health Movement and the start is as Bernie Sanders has proposed is Medicare for all.

  14. It’s noticeable that all the people who don’t support universal health care or Obamacare or Medicare or Medicaid all have health insurance. How many of those opponents would go without health insurance for a year or even a month to see what walking on a high wire without a safety net feels like?

  15. Pete,

    You need to read: “The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America” by Digby Baltzell (Random House, 1964). Professor Baltzell was my sociology mentor and friend at the University of Pennsylvania.

    It’s about country clubs.

    If you’re not in the country club, you might have billions, but you still don’t have real power in America. Token membership doesn’t count: like being a Jew or just being the President of the United States.

  16. We have to back up what we say in order for it to have validity. We all do it. We know about Sheila’s, JoAnne’s, Pete’s, recently BSH’s strong backgrounds, and others. We all have had similar experiences as well as dissimilar ones.

    My background is one of great success at war: Whether it be in sports, military, or domestic politics.

    I’m one of nine featured speakers at: “The Inaugural Sun Tzu’s Art of War Conference” at Vanderbilt University. I feel it is important for all of you to know that or you might consider me just another gadfly which I’m not. https://www.sonshi.com/conference.html

  17. Why is it never said publicly that in Indiana, and probably every other Republican state with a state health care system, residents are NOT ALLOWED to apply directly for ACA unless and until they have been denied coverage by every provider in the state health care system? Why isn’t that illegal? It is denying Americans their right to select and pay for the health care coverage of their choice. Please; don’t anyone reading this tell me that the right to selecting health care is not covered in the Constitution or Amendments. Ooops; I forgot, Gopper is banished from our midst so little chance of that being pointed out.

  18. JoAnne,

    “Ooops; I forgot, Gopper is banished from our midst so little chance of that being pointed out.”

    That’s what’s called a “blessing.” Right.

  19. JoAnn, I am only guessing about the need to be denied coverage: Could it be that the Repub establishment put this into place in order to make acquiring insurance through the ACA exchanges much more difficult? Maybe so difficult that some people just give up? Just a thought – but it could be the reason.

  20. Marv, regarding commenters’ backgrounds: I happen to be a very private person and rarely disclose my personal information or life stories. However, I probably could have utilized your legal services during a drawn out legal battle that lasted for almost 12 years. I had terrible legal representation that cost me basically everything that I had worked my entire life to build. It was so bad that the judge went against state law multiple times to rule in my ex’s (a cop) favor. I filed a complaint against the judge – he was investigated and removed from the case (but the financial damage was already done). I later sued my former attorney for fraud ( which he absolutely committed). The judge ruled that he committed malpractice (that kept the attorney from having to pay me for damages since the 2 years to file for malpractice had expired).

    I have extensive experience in healthcare financial management and billing oversight. I no longer work in that arena because I could not stand to demand payment from people that had no insurance and could not afford their medical care. Health insurance is a huge game in this country and unless you have worked in the provider side of it, you really have no idea of how the game works, how fees are set, what your rights are as a patient and what the responsibilities of the providers are.

    This just a very very small part of my life story, but quite enough for now.

  21. Nancy,

    “This just a very, very small part of my life story, but quite enough for now.

    That’s plenty. I understand you better now. You understand how corrupt the legal system can be by influencing corrupt judges. We both know It’s not always what it looks like on the surface in the courtroom or in politics.

    That’s why we’ve agreed on many issues in the past. It comes from the similarities we’ve both have experienced from the corruption of some judges at the sub-surface level of the legal system.

  22. Marv, I am glad to see that you refer to it as a “legal system”. I cannot stand to hear people refer to it as a “justice system” – that is far from the truth.

    Most people would not have survived what I was put through and many have said so. Even other judges were shocked at the injustice I suffered. When I finally found a decent attorney it was too late to undo the financial damage, but she told me that several attorneys and 3 judges came to her after reading about my case and commented that it was the most unfair case decision they had ever seen. By the way, I have very little respect for cops since I also know far too much about how most of them really live their lives and how they frequently break laws without getting caught.

  23. Wow; Nancy, at least you knew you could fight the judicial system, I didn’t know till too late that I could have sued my attorney. My divorce attorney was a family friend for so long he had been at the 3-day long baby shower given for my parents when they were expecting me. Thought I could trust him totally; but he worked for my husband who had his own attorney who did nothing. My attorney upheld my not-yet-ex’s request to lower child support for 5 children to the minimum, told me to give my not-yet-ex the family car from Friday to Sunday for dates *he had a pickup truck” or HE would take me back to court. The ex’s attorney was the former City Prosecutor who had to watch the movie “Deep Throat” six or seven times to decide if it was pornographic. In his mid-30’s at the time he still lived at home with Mama. My only consolation was that my at-long-last-ex had to pay both attorneys. Would those of you who have red my comments all these months believe my life is exceedingly boring now; no challenges…well, except getting out of bed with arthritis each morning.

  24. Nancy and JoAnn,

    Join my Club. I only trust people who have been screwed by the so-called “Justice System.”

    At the moment, I have to admit this attitude is not too good for my “love life.” But I sense that things will be picking up, as more and more people around Jacksonville are starting to “come out of the woodwork.” Hopefully, things will turn around for me before I die of old age.

  25. When you hear the accusations from the right wing, listen to them. They are often projections–projecting their own behavior or motivations onto the other side that they are doing themselves. Specifically, they accuse the other side of:

    setting up government controls on the people.
    re-defining “freedom”
    corrupting the voting process
    declaring “war on women”
    “class warfare”
    establishing death panels that determine who lives and who dies.

    Lots of other accusations, but you get the idea.

  26. Nancy, this relates to one of your earlier posts. There is evidence that the programs in computerized voting machines—in Florida and in other States—have been rigged. One programmer testified before a (I believe it was a Florida legislative) panel that he and other people had rigged the algorithms in 2000—imagine that. A professor in Kansas demonstrated the inconsistencies in that State’s system and the indications of voter fraud. The president of Diebold, manufacturer of a lot of the voting machines, guaranteed elections to the Republican Party—in a speech that was made public. If only a few votes are shifted in a precinct there can be a change in the outcome of an election. As much as Republicans and James O’Keefe complain about “voter fraud,” the main perpetrators are Republicans. If the 2000 election had not been stolen, hundreds of thousands of people might not have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before that, several thousand here in the U.S. might not have been killed on September 11, 2001. And Marv—I will have to look up the details on your gig at Vandy. Sun Tzu (sp?) is good reading, especially before one is about to play a game of “Go.”

  27. Mark, the 2004 election was stolen in Ohio too. As a former IT administrator, I know how they did it too. The server address of the voting machine in Ohio changed at 1am EST the day after the election and we all woke up that day with a second W presidency. I’m completely serious and agree with your comment.

  28. Mark, I vaguely recall hearing of rigged machines many years ago. Can you provide us with sites to visit that have the info on this? I would like to learn more. Thanks.

  29. I lived in Port Richey, Florida, in 2000; watched and read daily news throughout the days of the “recount”. Gore in the lead reported along with the numbers of votes thrown out as illegal or too late…with Gore still in the lead. Boxes and boxes of absentee ballots which had arrived well before election day were locked in closets and “found” during the “recount” but dismissed as arriving too late to be counted. Gore still in the lead.

  30. JoAnn,

    What also should be remembered in Florida, but has not been reported:

    That for one whole week prior to the Presidential election of 2000, Reverend Billy Graham preached to overflow crowds in Jacksonville Alltel Stadium: approximately 7X50,000=350,000.
    They came from all over the state.

    And then the day before the election, Billy Graham speaks on the Florida State Network and tells the statewide radio audience that he is speaking in his individual capacity and not his religious one. And that he will be voting for GEORGE BUSH as President.

    Let’s be more tolerant and not put all the blame on the “poor computers” or the “recount.”

  31. Marv; I do remember a lot of Billy Graham, I still had faith that religion wouldn’t decide people’s votes. Silly me! I’m not that silly today; Pence again signed his “refix” of the “fix” of his RFRA law protecting religious rights regarding serving LGBTs. Also; for the first time, per a Facebook post, people in Indiana can buy alcohol on Christmas day. Always prohibited for religious (Christian) reasons. Who says the governor has to make rational decisions?

    What I have never understood, have asked but never received an answer to; that was a close election across the country – who, how and why was the only recount done in Florida where Bush’s little brother Jeb was governor?

  32. I was a member of the Supreme Court bar for about 25 years prior to Bush Gore, which triggered my letter of resignation to the Clerk of Court, explaining that I did not wish to be a member of the bar of a court which itself acted unconstitutionally. The court elected Bush in a 5-4 landslide when, even with Ralph Nader drawing votes (mainly from Gore), Gore won the election by roughly 35,000 votes. I recall, too, that a little after 1:00 P.M. on election day of 2004, Kerry’s handlers came to him and told him to get his victory speech ready because he had won Ohio. Shortly after that huge majorities for Bush began to show up in the count and he narrowly “won” Ohio. I believe that Bush stole both elections and has therefore never been elected if the truth were known but served two terms anyway, and we all know the result, and the results of the result which are still continuing (see the rise of ISIS, still an underperforming economy etc.). When I heard a Republican candidate on TV last night say he wished Bush were in charge today, I involuntarily called him a bad name before I could contain myself. If, figuratively, this country were Socrates, then the question is how much more hemlock does it take to assure death of the nation with the return of this clueless oil man who invaded Iraq at the behest of Big Oil under the cover of “spreading democracy, non-existent WMDs etc. , while engineering a first ever massive tax break for the rich during wartime. Perhaps if brother Jeb is elected, he can appoint his brother Secretary of Defense, and why not? Another Republican, William Howard Taft, served as president and was thereafter named Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so anything’s possible among these fraudsters.

  33. As was smugly pointed out to me by Paul Ogden in a previous comment, all is as it should be if you are a republican– They keep winning elections, so they must be right. As long as the right continues to abuse anything that looks like reality Sheldon Adelson will keep winning elections. I mean, the RNC……

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