Another Democrat Spreads the Medicaid Lie

January 12, 2017

One Alix Rosenthal, who writes a regular column for the SF Examiner, made a claim in today’s article, that Medi-Cal is totally free for the poor, who are disabled or elderly. Here is the article’s URL, which includes my reply. Since it may not be accepted, my reply is also posted below:

–begin my reply:

Regarding your statement, “Medi-Cal — the program that pays for 100 percent of your health care costs if you are senior, poor or disabled.” That is a cruel deception. For unless you collect a Social Security amount of $600 or less, you must pay a monthly share of cost (SOC) that takes every dollar above 600. For me, that means my SOC is $518…almost half my income!

This SOC mandate was instituted under Gov. Schwarzenegger’s watch in 1989, and is based on that year’s cost of living. It has never been raised since. Our present governor, Jerry Brown, has not seen fit to rectify this unfair arrangement that rips off the poor. Even though he is a Democrat, unlike Schwarzenegger. Not all states that have accepted expanded Medicaid charge a SOC, including Massachusetts, New Mexico and Minnesota. But I suspect that the majority of the 19 states that have expanded Medicaid, charge an exorbitantly unaffordable SOC.

When Obama announced expanded Medicaid, he said he’d leave it up to each state, how to spend it. Obviously, that includes whether or not they will squeeze the wallets of those who can least afford “affordable care.” As far as I’m concerned, there should be no SOC for those so poor as to be eligible for Medicaid in the first place. Obamacare, therefore, is more like a death sentence for tens of millions of Medicaid recipients, rather than a boon. Medi-Cal’s own site used to include a statement that admitted this SOC is so exorbitant, as to be useless to a large number of their clients. They have since erased it, replacing that remark with a bunch of undecipherable operating costs. I had to go to a dental service site, to find proof of my claim, and you can find it here:

From which I quote:

“The MNL has not changed since 1989 and is $600 for an individual. Thus, anything an individual earns over $600 a month becomes that individual’s share of cost. For example, if an individual earns $1,100 a month, that person must incur $500 in medical costs each month before receiving any coverage from the Medi-Cal program. For consumers with a high share of cost, Medi-Cal provides little more than catastrophic coverage and does not enable them to access health care services.”

(MNL stands for “maintenance need level.”)

I was shocked four months after I applied for Medi-Cal (which I dropped over a decade ago, due to so many cutbacks it became useless to me), to receive their SOC notice, declaring that $518 monthly fee! Assuming this was an error, I marched on down to their office, only to be told no, that is the correct amount. I was angered and dismayed, and they gave no explanation as to why such a ridiculous monthly charge. So I had to do my homework by searching the web. The truth is hard to track down, as Medi-Cal has intentionally obfuscated the SOC fee. Other states’ Medicaid pages seem to be hiding the truth, too. Except for those that do not charge any SOC which, in their cases, they tell you up front, there is no monthly expense.

In June of 2015 I emailed a letter of outrage to Congressperson Nancy Pelosi (along with a copy of it to other Democratic leaders and 17 major alternative/progressive online news sites). Ms. Pelosi has never responded, nor have any of the other people and organizations I posted to. You may read that letter here:

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party elitists pat each other on the back over the “miraculous” success of Medicaid. The Democratic Party, with President Obama at the helm, is complicit in this deadly dupe. Though I voted for him twice, I am disgusted at this deception that is the manipulation of both government and mainstream (and even alternative) media. For you, too, Ms. Rosenthal, believe this lie.

My teeth are almost all gone, and I cannot get any annual checkups to prevent or slow down blindness, due to my age, which is now 66. Many other preventative and treatable ailments are way beyond any sort of affordability. And this must be true of many others receiving Medi-Cal. Yet there is no outcry, no support groups, no political movement to bring justice to California’s poorest.


Medicaid = Megadeaths

August 10, 2016

While many folks are aware that 22 states have refused to expand Medicaid, at the cost of more than 4.3 million lives, they are not aware that many low income folks living in the (mostly blue) states, remain grievously shortchanged when it comes to affordable health care.

I live in the blue state of California, as a low income resident in San Francisco. Yet Obamacare’s expansion to Medi-Cal does nothing to make my health care anywhere near “affordable.” That is because California’s version of Medicaid has instituted a share of cost fee in 2007, based on 1989’s cost of living! The first question that comes to my mind, is: “How on earth did they get away with this?”

And California has never adjusted this cost of living ever since. Which means that Medi-Cal will not cover any medical fees until I pay $518 any given month…based on my social security income of $1,243. This is almost half my income, therefore I can not afford any sort of health care, including preventative or maintenance. This 1989 cost of living means that any monthly income beyond $600, is automatically stripped by Medi-Cal. Now, how can anyone survive on such an astronomical fee?

Some other states, such as Minnesota, New Mexico and Massachusetts, grant Medicaid recipients a much more reasonable cost. For example, Minnesota charges $0.00 (zero dollars) for anyone collecting $1,340 or less per month. Therefore, I conclude that California’s version of Medicaid (Medi-Cal) is ripping off the poor even to the point where their own lives are at stake. And if not their lives, causing them much misery because they cannot afford any of the care required to ease their suffering.

I can only assume that many other blue states are equally cruel, with little exception (those reasonable states like the three cited above). It is up to other enlightened folks to do the math, for I am barely treading water in struggling for my own freedom. Thus do not have either the time or energy to parse all inequities of this Medicaid debacle.

Perversely enough, this matter of blue state rip off is not even on the political radar, though red state issues around Medicaid are. As if every blue state has all its poor residents totally covered, with no reason whatsoever to complain. Here is a good example of how only the red (conservative) states are being blamed for outrageous out-of-pocket Medicaid fees:

Charging Medicaid Premiums Hurts Patients and State Budgets

In speaking out against this death sentence to the poor, I am usually slammed by my own progressive peers…accused of being a right-wing saboteur. (I am a Democrat, who voted for Obama FYI.) Very few have followed up on my claims, to see if I am correct regarding this matter. They are totally brainwashed.

And our government–along with the progressive media–are implicit in sweeping this horrid truth under the proverbial carpet. Meanwhile, time is ticking for this neglected soul, until the day comes when I suffer a major ailment, injury or emergency, which fees required by Medi-Cal will make me so poor, I can no longer feed myself, or keep a humble roof over my head. This is indeed a death sentence, for which I am greatly angered at our government, and wish it no good any more. For I need annual eye checkups to keep from going blind. Checkups which I can no longer afford. And who knows what other ailments I will suffer that are common to the elderly (for I am now 66 years old)? What about prostate cancer, arthritis, pneumonia, or going deaf? Many other medical issues occur to me, that I cannot afford to take care of, even if they are readily managed by our modern health care system…and for which I become ever more susceptible, due to my advanced age.


I am forced by a diabolical system to fight for my own life…as if I were the only one in this nation suffering such egregious abuse. For in my daily life–online as well as offline–I have yet to encounter anyone else with a similar gov’t boot stomping on his neck.

The only solution I can come up with, is to press for a class action lawsuit. Against both the state of California, and the White House! Which may land me in prison, or at best get me cut off from any social security and/or other government aid. For whistle blowers are not regarded kindly these days, in spite of a democratic president. I may likely perish in this fight to preserve my own life!

Thus I have arrived at a new faith in Our Creator: that He shall somehow grant me good health and fortitude through this battle that for whatever reason He has called me to wage. But do not think for a moment, that I have any faith in this nation, or any great love as some sort of hoodwinked patriot. For this Medi-Cal offense is more than an inconvenience: it is a willful threat towards my well being, and even existence, at the hands of Uncle Sam. So once more I say:


For proof of my claim about share of cost, see: California Share of Cost. Quote:

“For example, if an individual earns $1,100 a month, that person must incur $500 in medical costs each month before receiving any coverage from the Medi-Cal program. For consumers with a high share of cost, Medi-Cal provides little more than catastrophic coverage and does not enable them to access health care services.”

To my detriment, I do indeed have a “high SOC.” Talk about milking the poor unto their own death bed!


I tracked down four Youtube videos about Medicaid scam, that further verify my own assertion. Here we go:

1. What is the share of cost for Medi Cal?

To which I added my own comment:

“As if anyone poor enough to be eligible for Medicaid can even afford an estate planning attorney. Plus, the spouse is left with having to clean out his savings, until it is below Medicaid’s allowable assets, which is less than $3,000. Shoving the spouse into extreme poverty: way to go, Medi-Cal!”

2. The Medicaid bill that doesn’t go away when you die

My comment:

“As if that isn’t bad enough, monthly share of cost for Medi-Cal recipients is the remainder of their income OVER SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS! Example: if you receive $1,100 soc. sec. per month, your share of cost is $500! This is more of a death sentence than anything else. See:

Expanded Medicaid = Sick Joke

3. Medicaid is Ruining My Life

This man’s from Idaho, and his story is heartbreaking. But this video gives solid affirmation that even with expanded Medicaid, many states that have accepted it, are killing off the low-income disabled. He also stated that New Mexico has /no/ share of cost for its Medicaid recipients, and is therefore far more reasonable. In /my/ research, I discovered that Minnesota is likewise decent. BUT NOT CALIFORNIA! My comment:

“Randy: California is just the same as Idaho…very cruel. In my research, I discovered that Minnesota is like New Mexico: no share of cost. I’ve been trying to put the word out there, but I usually get accused of lying, and being a right-wing infiltrator…so it’s been a painful, uphill climb. I am so glad, however, that refinancing has proven a godsend for your situation…though millions of others still suffer, and will likely die before their time, and possibly be homeless first.

“I would really like to get a list of which states that accept expanded Medicaid charge a SOC, and which do not…to get a sense of how extensive the corruption. Many of these same people now suffering under Medicaid’s draconian rules voted for Obama, in faith he would improve their lot. Instead, he’s handed them a death sentence.

“I am now 66 years old; I do /not/ own a home, nor any other considerable asset, so I’m really screwed!

“You are welcome to view my three blog entries on this egregious cross dumped on the shoulders of the poorest, here in California. Do you think pursuing a class action lawsuit is feasible…both against each guilty state, and against the Federal Government? If so, I wonder why the ACLU hasn’t ever bothered to try to rectify this horrendous and deadly abuse by both state and Federal agencies. Here are those three Medi-Cal articles of mine, in chronological order:

Obamacare Defecates on the Poor

Expanded Medicaid = Sick Joke

No PrEP for the Poor

4. Understanding healthcare costs: Medicaid

No comment from this outraged client! They make everything look so generous and accommodating to the low income, I could puke.

And for the rest of you, who live the affluent lifestyle:

Baked Alaskan

May 31, 2016

Two Facebook conversations that occurred in late May 2016, covering two issues: sexual minority rights and the impoverished disabled. Names have been changed to protect me from Cornholio revenge.

Dialog #1: in which Mr. Arcauld, a gay Alaskan retiree, posted a video of some historic event that occurred several decades earlier. What that event was, I forget, but it’s not important to the context herein.

Zeke Krahlin: Historical moments can take on new, and even astounding, insights upon retrospect. I intend to keep that in mind while starving to death for the crime of being gay in a FEMA relocation camp.

Manny Arcauld: Get off the pity pot.

Zeke Krahlin: I’m too poor to even have a pity pot to piss in. Count your blessings that you’re not. In fact, I’m sure you’ve created some stunning stained glass pieces to embellish them…and sold them for a tidy profit.

Manny Arcauld: Sorry you’re so bitter.

Zeke Krahlin: I’m sorry you’re so humorless. Interpreting what is really just a joke (“black humor” in my case), as bitterness, says more about the critic, than the jester. I am definitely an anomaly here on FB, since most poor folks can’t afford to even participate online. And it does make a lot of people here very uncomfortable. Should I apologize for that? BTW, do you have any custom made pity pots on sale, right now…and do you take food stamps?

Zeke Krahlin: As a matter of fact, Manny, considering that I’ve been on Soc. Sec. Disability for most of my life, with inferior health care even during the best of times, and now that expanded Medicaid has arrived in CA, Medi-Cal wants to charge me a whopping $518 monthly share of cost (meaning I can’t afford /any/ health care whatsoever, my teeth are now falling out and I’m slowly going blind, and whatever else happens to me such as cancer, stroke, heart attack, etc., I must endure as if this were the 19th century)…I think I’m doing damned fantastic, what with keeping a robust sense of humor and all! And still writing incredible tales, many of them quite funny and dedicated to lightening the hearts of troubled LGBT’s around the world who shall /never/ taste of the comforts and luxuries you seem to take for granted, nor even what limited comforts I still have before the inevitable occurs: homelessness.

In fact, every gay person on the planet should celebrate my existence, for all the sacrifices I have made over several decades (a large part of which are my tales, poems and essays freely distributed across the planet), while you and other privileged queers suck on the teat of prosperity with little thought of your less fortunate gay brothers. I know you’re not a Log Cabin Republican, but you do seem to harbor some rather elitist and RW notions, as most recently displayed by your snarky remarks back to me, herein. So I say “shame on you” for not even lifting a single dollar to buy my book or broadcast my excellent activist writings to others. What have /you/ got to lose, my friend? Regardless of the /many/ gay people who mock me, put me down, and gossip ugly things about me, I continue to press forward with my tales and online and street activism for as long as I am capable. And you shall continue posting pics of your delectable feasts here and there across the Alaskan frontier, growing more and more plump along the way. And, eventually, we shall both die…one before the other, though I don’t know who’ll be first. Most likely myself, seeing as I don’t see /how/ I will possibly live more than two or three years from now, with virtually no preventative care whatsoever.

Regardless, one thing I’m certainly /not/ is “bitter.” And I resent your forcing such a notion about yours truly. I nonetheless remain an optimistic person, mostly happy. Obviously, most FB denizens are reasonably affluent, and would rather have poor folks like me stay outta this venue, or at least “stfu.” (One of my callings as an activist is, of course, to be a thorn in the side of those who are comfortable in their middle class bubble…in particular, those spoiled brats in our own LGBT family.) I don’t know many people could do that, under my ridiculously difficult circumstances. Instead of making false accusations about me, don’t you think it would reflect much better on your own nature, to congratulate my efforts under such duress? This is why I avoided seeing you when you visited San Francisco, as I sensed your snobbish elitism, which company I prefer to avoid. Hard enough to do in this uber affluent city, w/o another swooping down into my neighborhood to sip a little nectar before returning home once more. (You are like a little kid still trying to impress his mommy at what a success he’s turned out to be…only you project this to everyone around you now, every chance you get…like they are maternal surrogates.) Perhaps you are drunk right now, and will regret what you’ve posted by tomorrow morn. Whatever. If anyone deserves pity, it is you. (Oh yeah, and thanks for providing me with a perfect opportunity to vent…from which I gained tremendous satisfaction.)

Dialog #2: in which Mr. Arcauld posted a video of an armless young lady getting into her car, about to whiz away with her left knee guiding the steering wheel. Caption: “If your life is hard, watch this video!”

Zeke Krahlin: Only those with financial resources can benefit from prosthetics and other devices that make their disabled lives livable. Many such devices and therapeutic services needed can only be accessed by the affluent…either directly via their own bank account, or (more likely) via wealthy family and generous friends. For every one such lucky person, a hundred more go without. Need a high-tech wheelchair to get around? That’ll be $45,000, please. Need those artificial legs that allow you to run and hop like a rabbit, and even win marathons? That’ll be $70,000, please. If you are severely disabled and poor, you’re lucky if you can even afford a plain old wheelchair with an electric motor!

And let’s not even talk about all the high quality, VERY EXPENSIVE therapy so necessary to restore one’s life to a livable, fulfilling one. Months and months, or more likely, years and years of it, perhaps a lifetime. This tragic outcome is very much a variation on the Horatio Alger myth, which claims that no matter how disadvantaged you are, you can make it in America, if only you persist and never give up. Then just to /affirm/ this false (and CRUEL) notion, every now and then the media tosses out an example such as the one depicted above. Yet for every such glorious example, there are hundreds of seriously disabled people way too poor to afford the luxury of quality restoration and therapy. Venues like Facebook are flush with affluent people who love to broadcast just this sort of tripe, to assuage their conscience. Easy enough to do, since it is very rare that any low income person can even afford the luxury of social media participation. I am one such rare exception.

Federal Policy Barriers to Assistive Technology |

Poor Internet for Poor People: Why Facebook’s Amounts to Economic Racism

Rom Proust: Amazing !!!! Thanks for sharing Arcauld.

Zeke Krahlin: Yes, just fabulous, she has all these financial resources at her fingertips to recuperate fully and live a rich life. So wonderful that she is not one of the many poor with severe handicaps who do /not/ have the benefit of these amenities. What an inspiration, my mind is boggled.


Zeke Krahlin Absolutely! Now if only our crude society can bring the very same, expensive therapy, quality medical care, prosthetics, accommodating transportation (such as a car adapted to their special needs) and medical/social support group to the poor who also suffer severe disabilities. Shocking, I know, to think that the low income are even /more/ vulnerable to debilitating disease and accidents, than even the unfortunate rich (or at least comfortably well-off). I know, life is not fair…and a lot /less/ fair to the poor. Unbelievable, eh? The only successful and inspiring stories I come across, are from those whose trials occur within an affluent environment.

I know many people living on the streets with AIDS, cancer, blindness, brain damage, missing limbs, etc. Here in decadently wealthy San Francisco! Some with rickety old wheelchairs, crutches or jalopies…while privileged IT workers whiz by on their way to or from work, or to or from whatever nighttime pleasures they pursue (maybe an opera, 5-star restaurant, the theater or a Swedish massage date). Totally oblivious to the outlandish suffering of the disadvantaged scattered about the streets and lavish neighborhoods. (But not /too/ lavish, as the uber-rich districts make sure /those/ types never have access to their turf, with a little help from the police and Mayor Ed Lee.) I wish such a boon of quality assistance for them, these straggling souls with no roof over their drooping, sad heads…and for myself, as well. Though my head isn’t drooping yet; and through some sort of miracle I still have a roof over it, albeit just a dumpy SRO.

Annie Bliss Moore: Zeke Krahlin I AGREE.

Zeke Krahlin: Thank you. Always good to know there /are/ some others on FB with a heart, who /do/ care about the poor, who remain invisible anywhere on the Internet. And who suffer disabilities as serious as the woman shown above, and even worse…and who can /not/ avail themselves of all the quality care and devices that she is so lucky to have. Just because of one single thing: money.

A Rotten Deal

February 15, 2011

Image of Karel

Hey, Karel, I posted you a similar message a few weeks ago, about what Remote Area Medical (RAM) does and does not provide. You had mentioned them as a way for the uninsured to get free dental treatment…and said you need crown and bridge work. So I emailed you, with a link to their page that describes the services they do provide…and it only covers the basics.

The info is right there for anyone to read, at their own web site:

Scroll down to “dental”, you’ll see the services provided, which are these and only these: “Cleanings, fillings, extractions. Pediatric dentistry is available.”

No crowns, no bridges, no oral surgery…at least, not for adults. (Though they do not state any additional services for children; my guess is for the same and no more.)

Yet today, I heard you explicitly state on your radio channel, that RAM does do crowns. Which is obviously not the case.

Over half my own teeth have almost all completely fallen out (or broken down to stubs), due to Medi-Cal’s continuous cutbacks of dental services since the Prez Clinton era, until July 1, 2009 when all adult dental services have been eliminated. Though long before that, they eliminated crowns for the back teeth, then the sides, and finally the front…also bridge work and root canal, and surgery…until all you could get any more were exams, cleaning, extractions, and standard fillings.

Teeth that could be saved (but required more than just a simple filling) weren’t. Every time a dentist yanked out a perfectly good tooth, I cursed Amerika for its miserable mistreatment and neglect of all our poor and disabled. The only way for me to get dental care (and by now I need tons of work, including crowns, bridges, surgery) is if I have AIDS…which I do not. But even the local AIDS funding is drying up here in SF, and across the nation.

I also looked into the new program “Healthy San Francisco” and guess what: dental services are not part of the package. Local dental schools offer drastically reduced prices…which nonetheless are too cost prohibitive for the low income. (Example: a crown that retails for $1,200 may cost “only” $680 at a dental school. My total monthly income is $1,130…so you do the math. Plus, I need six crowns and three bridges, though at this point I’d prefer to have ’em all yanked out and replaced with dentures.)

It is most frustrating and humiliating (and depressing) to have know-it-alls get in my face and accuse me of neglecting my teeth, because they insist that dental care is available for the poor. I’ve been on disability most of my adult life, and would never neglect my teeth if I had any way to access dental services. They are simply not there any more.

I listen to your show faithfully, every single weekday, and admire your good works via Green960. That is why I believed you would never intentionally broadcast misinformation on any issue.

Otherwise, I’m afraid you’re behaving just like the “know-it-alls” who claim that certain health services exist for the poor, when in reality they do not…and which only serves to scapegoat our burgeoning class of low-income citizens.

Amerikans are a sadistic lot.

A devoted (but disgruntled) listener:

PS: What about your other devoted listeners who take you up on your advice to seek dental care at one of RAM’s one-day events, only to be turned away? I don’t think they’ll be too happy for your having wasted their valuable time and scarce finances. You need to rectify your false advertising ASAP, if you truly value your so-far-excellent reputation as the world’s only syndicated gay talk show host.

Send your own message to Karel: click here.

Image of rotten teeth

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