Rooting Out Abuse Part 4: Neglect By Inertia

October 22, 2009
Jeff Kaplan

Remember, we have essentially 2 options; All we can do is pick the lesser of the evils. Example: Federal control is bad; corporate control is worse.

The following is someone else's 'tzuris (misfortune), but it could be your Aunt Millie. It's a story of over two years of aggravation, which a writer in another forum described as "Why I Have No Faith in a Government Run Public Option!!" He says:

"It all started when my sister notified the Social Security Administration that her mother-in-law who had been living with her since 1985, moved into their new house about 1 mile away. (Nothing changed but the address.) On January 3, 2008, my sister filed an Appeal to the Social Security Administration's ruling that left her mother-in -law with only $29.00 per month for expenses including food and medicine. She contacted Senator Dianne Feinstein for assistance with this matter."

SSA Appeals Council case opened in Virginia on January 3, 2008; D.F.'s folks quickly wrote 10 "Just a quick note(s)" letters over the next couple of years; a few the other way and we learn:

"She was 85 when she filed this appeal and now is 87. At this rate, she will be dead before the SSA Appeals Council hears her case. If the Federal Government treats those with disabilities and the elderly in this fashion when running SSA, can anyone really see them running a health insurance plan."

"They have promised to escalate this matter since early 2008. Why would a 'Public Option' be run any differently??"

Another participant of that forum. Fredrick, MD, PhD, JD responded:

Do you expect BETTER service from a private insurer?

At least with Social Security, you have FOUR levels of appeal.

* Reconsideration;

* Hearing by an administrative law judge;

* Review by the Appeals Council; and

* Federal Court review.

With a private insurer you may well have just one, crooked mandatory arbitration, and NO subsequent appeals.

If you're already at the Appeals Council level, I assume her appeal has already been rejected at the two lower levels.

Have you called the SSA and asked about how to proceed to Federal Court if there has been excessive delay at the Appeals Council level?

Have you asked for help from your House member, if your senator is not pushing things?

Have you asked to have her benefits continued during the appeal process?

Have you sought help from one of the many organizations that help SS recipients?

If you had a private insurer, who would give you any free help?

Remember, we have essentially 2 options; All we can do is pick the lesser of the evils. Example: Federal control is bad; corporate control is worse.

To turn to the worse option because 'the less bad is still bad' is absurd and as self-defeating as that redneck that was injured while rioting against the health care bill and then complained that he didn't have health insurance.