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:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/republican-voters-power-save-obamacare/

–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:

http://www.shareofcost.com/state-assistance/share-of-cost-california.html

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:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/obamacare-defecates-on-the-poor/

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.

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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.

AMERIKA, GO FUK YOURSELF!

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:

AMERIKA, GO FUK YOURSELF!

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!


ADDENDUM

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:


On PTSD & Larry Kramer

July 5, 2016

Like the air we breathe, intense stress has become part of everyone’s life on this planet. This explains all the explosive violence ’round the world…and why I conclude it will lead to a sort of nervous breakdown for the entire species of man. You may not call it PTSD unless it manifests in the public eye as rage…but it leads to drug/alcohol abuse, bad tempers, ill health and broken friendships. For example, if a person is homeless more than a month or so, I’d say he or she has PTSD by default. Though not diagnosed as such, since medical care is beyond that person’s reach. The suffering and violence across Africa, for another example…well, no way PTSD is going to stand in the wings. I see homeless people, and those too poor to live in anything but derelict housing in bad neighborhoods, suffering from this or that malady, whether physical or mental. They are not classified as PTSD sufferers, solely because they do not belong to at least a reasonably affluent level of society, and thus are not classified by those well paid doctors and psychiatrists as suffering from PTSD. In fact, they are not counted at all. Not everyone may have severe PTSD, but they certainly have either mild or moderate PTSD.

Plug in my sensitivity chip? Ah, yes, I’m such a mean, cold spirited person, I don’t know why you even bother to communicate with me. Sensitivity chip, my ass. Where do you come up with such phrases…you sound like a new age armchair psychologist who watches Dr. Phil reruns all day long. Considering all the sacrifices I’ve made all my life on behalf of my gay brothers and sisters who are homeless or destitute in other ways, taking many risks that threaten my survival (including from affluent gays as well as hetero dipshits), and living hand to mouth for many decades in order to perform my good works than get absorbed by the capitalist Borg, working in a cramped office making another person rich…I really don’t see where you get off saying this. I get numerous threats on my life throughout each year, both online and offline for being such a bold, outspoken whistle blower for our lowest class sexual minorities. So I make a point of patting myself on the back now and then, since it’s so very rare anyone else does.

My latest whistle-blowing achievement is a piece I posted just yesterday, called “No PrEP for the Poor.” It’s about how our low income LGBT’s cannot afford PrEP, which is a drug that prevents, as well as halts and eradicates, AIDS. So while the rich in our community can live a good life w/o the debilitation that comes with untreated AIDS, the low income among us must continue to exist in a virtual 1980’s “gay plague” kind of world. See:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/no-prep-for-the-poor/

Just before that piece, I released a related one, called “Expanded Medicaid = Sick Joke,” ’cause that’s what it really is for the low income. Yet our gov’t wants everyone to think that Obamacare is a godsend for the poorest among us…at least, in the blue states. And I gave /proof/ of my claims by providing links to appropriate resources. You mocked me by posting an “Obama is Satan” pic, which colors me as one of those right-wing nut jobs. Instead of taking a serious look at what I’ve claimed in these posts, you are like so many naive liberals who really don’t see the dirt piling around them, as a result of not just GOP treachery, but the duplicity by the Democratic Party, which is but a gutted out version of its once proud history. Here’s my Medicaid piece:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/expanded-medicaid-sick-joke/

I know your Obama/Satan pic was in response to my original Medicaid rant, which I titled “Obamacare Defecates on the Poor.”

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/obamacare-defecates-on-the-poor/

Maybe that language was too much for you…yet that is a very good way of putting it. For it handed a death sentence to 10’s of millions of poor citizens, including myself…while the Democratic Elitists pat themselves on the back for what a “miraculous” success Is Medicaid.

I’m wondering if you’ve read any of my recent pieces about the attack on the poor and LGBT’s by both the RW and the progressive wing. Maybe so many folks like you, who have /some/ level of affluence that keeps the wolves at bay, are so shocked by looming specters of /genuine/ terror enveloping our society in greater proportion each day, that you cannot face the truth, and have become hypnotized into convincing yourselves that things aren’t really as bad as they are. Did you see my piece about Republican lawmakers proposing death to gays? Do you think I’m making this up? Here it is:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/killing-gays-the-republican-agenda/

You and other naive liberals sure make my work an uphill climb that is far steeper than it should be. Bad enough I get ridiculed by the right wing for being an alarmist, and a deluded old fuk…but to have those on /my/ side (progressive and Democratic) do the same thing, is disgusting (to say the least). Let me tell you a secret about PTSD:

One can learn to harness this chaotic force to work in your favor, as a creative tool for righteous outrage. And that is what I have done. So enough of your flippant remarks (and here I’m not just addressing you, but the many others of your ilk whom I call “clueless liberals”): get off the pot pretending the poor and disenfranchised, especially LGBT’s, of our country, don’t really have it all that bad. For we are one step away from full blown holocaust. One may easily make a case that it’s already here, though in the form of a slow genocide. Slow enough, in fact, to make it easy for everyone to look the other way (and mock anyone who speaks out, such as yours truly)…as did the people in Germany as they saw Jews being shipped away by rail, to what they thought were neighboring nations and not (as it really turned out to be) concentration camps.

While I may keep a light heart and sense of humor most of the time, really, Marla, I deal with very serious issues. And some of your responses are grossly insensitive. Like so many on Facebook who prefer this space to be their frivolous getaway from life’s problems, and don’t really appreciate activists like me, who make their presence known. For the truly poor in these disUnited States can /not/ afford to participate in social media. In that way (among other ways), I am an anomaly.

In conclusion: I don’t think you’re that much in touch with the dark side of America, growing darker each day BTW, and seem to behave like things are far better than they really are. News flash: I think your own sensitivity chip needs some fine turning or (better yet) a total replacement. Maybe it’s just the battery, what do I know.

P.S.: I had a similar argument with another “clueless liberal” two months back…a gay, retired person living in Alaska, as it turned out. When I described the inequity of Medicaid, how it’s a death sentence for many poor folks, he told me to “get off the pity pot!” So I just ripped into him like nobody’s business…and called that piece “Baked Alaskan.” Obviously, his sensitivity chip is broken, too.

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/baked-alaskan/


The foundations set up by Larry Kramer and his ilk…which are upper middle class gays…do not benefit low income, and homeless within the queer community. Well, maybe just a little. The LGBT family is just as elitist as any other. ACT UP et al merely serve to save the lives of the affluent within their community, not the poor. Larry founded GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis) that now has outposts in all major cities across America. But for the most part, they do little for those who are homeless or low income, even though they claim to include them in their mission.

You can visit their web site, gmhc.org, and see for yourself, that there is nothing they provide for the homeless (or poor), except links to other organizations. And even those organizations offer threadbare assistance, at best. And mostly for “youth,” which they consider to be no older than 25. Once you hit the ripe old age of 26, it’s “fuk you” and you’re back out on the streets again (unless you’re already there). There is nothing provided by the queer community, for homeless LGBT’s who are no longer considered young.

Mr. Kramer /did/ speak out for our poor and disenfranchised LGBT’s, but they/we were dropped from the community as an increasing number of wealthy queers infiltrated these political groups and took over. Here is a 9 minute video of Larry being interviewed by a fluffy drag queen called “Lady Bunny”:

A Conversation With… Larry Kramer _ Lady Bunny

What Kramer had to say is right on, and I appreciate that. But c’mon, someone by name of Lady Bunny adorned with a humongous, puffed up wig turns the entire interview into a mockery of the horror of homophobia and what we are up against. Bad enough that heteros treat us like a joke, but for a queer celebrity to do the same thing, is beyond pathetic. She certainly doesn’t convey the gravity of this ongoing anti-LGBT persecution, to her hetero viewers who are concerned enough to educate themselves.

In the video, she asks where all the vibrant activists and leadership have gone. I’ll tell you where they’ve gone: into their own shells, because those already in power have repressed and marginalized us for decades now. Some, like me, continue to fight the good fight, in spite of rejection from our own community. Thank goddess for the Internet, for it gave me a voice to the world that would otherwise have remained obfuscated by our local, petty politics. I think most, if not all, of our present leaders are in it for the self glory and monetary profit, more than out of any true desire to elevate our position in this world.

I participated for a short while in both ACT UP and Queer Nation. But I soon grew discouraged, due to the numerous self-serving members who spurned most participants that were not white like them, or older than 35, or did not espouse their watered down, pampered middle class version of progressive activism. Very cliquish. It was no longer their strategy to embrace our homeless and low income brothers/sisters, as part of the struggle. What they achieved, therefore, was AIDS prevention and treatment, and other benefits for their own middle and upper class needs. Just like medicinal marijuana.

A perfect example of this is described in my own recent blog entry, how our lowest income queers are denied both AIDS prevention and AIDS recovery, while the reasonably affluent and up have full access, Have you read it yet? I just uploaded it two days ago. It’s short, though important, and I hope you do check it out.

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/no-prep-for-the-poor/

I have little to no support or recognition for my dedicated activism, by our SF community. Which is shocking, considering my talent as a reporter and author…that could be quite a groundbreaker for furthering our struggle. The social circle of both Harvey Milk and Larry Kramer pushed me out of their world, and for this reason I wonder how many other good souls they’ve repressed, that could’ve contributed much to our cause. I think what’s going on, is that they want to keep their own positions of power and adulation, more so than actually conquering AIDS and homophobia. For if that ever happened, they fear they’ll fall to the wayside and be replaced by others.

Many times over the last few decades I’ve offered my services to various LGBT newspapers and organizations, as a columnist or investigative reporter, as well as an activist with many novel tactics that could shatter the walls of our enemies. Yet not a single nibble. Though ounce in a while, one of my ideas gets stolen by an already-known activist, who then takes credit for it. Such as my dispute with Queer Nation in 1991:

http://www.gay-bible.org/truetales/6_dispute.htm

So thank you for comparing me with Mr. Kramer, it’s quite flattering. Just thought I’d fill you in with the reality of my situation, and that of disenfranchised queers at large. Though I do hold onto an ultimately optimistic viewpoint, based on the Buddha’s tenet: “We have no enemies, only teachers.”

For perhaps, just perhaps, the LGBT community is so hard on me, is because they have great expectations for my activism, and want me to be very strong. What better way to be strengthened through oppression by the very own people you struggle to save? And in never giving up and forging onward in spite of this undeserved backlash, I grow keener and more powerful, as well as wise. Until the time this community has enabled me (through testing by one obstacle after another) to reach a certain level of perfection…whereby they will finally cease their animosity, and let me through that gate like a charging bull.

I therefore think there is some secret society of LGBT’s that is grooming me and others (who they are, I have no idea) for leadership. Without letting me know, though expecting me to figure it all out in the long run. And that conclusion I reveal in Chapter 9 of my novel, “Free Me From This Bond”:

https://zekeblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/dragon-fire-in-the-hole/

How’s /that/ for a response to your chat comment? :D


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