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Thread: Is America Failing?

  1. #1

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    Default Is America Failing?

    Today in the letters to the Editor, one was titled 'Is America Failing' written by Jeff Miller of Waterloo. The story he reports of one of our social workers advising this young couple to not become married so that the State of Indiana would pay for the hospital cost of delivery of the children is disturbing.

    I also was unaware that unwed mothers receive medicaid monthly checks after the child has been born? I can imagine they might receive some type of welfare check (maybe the name of what this is called has changed over time)?

    Recently I read a story in The Star of a young mother in Auburn who was arrested for welfare fraud for not reporting that the father of her children was living in her residence. While it was unfortunate for the family, the arrest seemed to be the right thing to do to me. Don't milk the system, the tax payers, and those who truely need the assistance.

    I do believe Jeff Miller reported this story as it was told to him by this young father. My thoughts are that if this father is telling the truth, he and his wife are guilty of fraud of the system. IF our system is honestly this lopsided, we need to be doing some major changes in our laws.

    Does anyone else know if our Medicaid system works like this for unmarried mothers?
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  2. #2

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Full letter is here, if anyone hasn't read it already:

    http://www.kpcnews.com/index.php?opt...-to-the-editor

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHelen View Post
    Today in the letters to the Editor, one was titled 'Is America Failing' written by Jeff Miller of Waterloo. The story he reports of one of our social workers advising this young couple to not become married so that the State of Indiana would pay for the hospital cost of delivery of the children is disturbing.

    I also was unaware that unwed mothers receive medicaid monthly checks after the child has been born? I can imagine they might receive some type of welfare check (maybe the name of what this is called has changed over time)?

    Recently I read a story in The Star of a young mother in Auburn who was arrested for welfare fraud for not reporting that the father of her children was living in her residence. While it was unfortunate for the family, the arrest seemed to be the right thing to do to me. Don't milk the system, the tax payers, and those who truely need the assistance.

    I do believe Jeff Miller reported this story as it was told to him by this young father. My thoughts are that if this father is telling the truth, he and his wife are guilty of fraud of the system. IF our system is honestly this lopsided, we need to be doing some major changes in our laws.

    Does anyone else know if our Medicaid system works like this for unmarried mothers?
    In my personal experience, Medicaid covered my wife during her entire pregnancy for our son since we weren't married at the time and she was unemployed with no income or any other support (other than me). It covered her daughter completely since my wife was in the middle of a divorce from her useless ex-husband. Medicaid completely covered my wife for a few months after birth. I was never covered and my son did not get any coverage after he was born.

    Luckily, we had Medicaid when our daughter needed $40,000 worth of surgery to repair her colon which had turned inside out, without which she would have died in agony. FORTY thousand dollars for a couple hours of surgery. For those who brag about our "health care system" being "the best in the world"- screw you. You've obviously never been put in a position like my wife and I had to face with our daughter. If we hadn't had Medicaid, we probably would not have taken her to the hospital for the tests that eventually determined our doctor's original diagnosis (stomach flu) was EXTREMELY off.

    How many people have died because they couldn't afford to go to the doctor or hospital and simply hoped they would get better?

    We aren't talking lazy people who would rather buy a video game or a pack of cigarettes than pay for a doctor. Medical bills cost as much as many HOUSES.

    We also didn't get any "Medicaid checks" as referenced by the letter-writer. I suspect he's either lying or was given the wrong information. And since such lies and misinformation obviously fits in with the prejudices the letter-writer obviously feels about how "unfair" Medicaid and social services are to "the working class", he is obviously going to take such lies and misinformation as truth.
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by evilkumquat View Post
    In my personal experience, Medicaid covered my wife during her entire pregnancy for our son since we weren't married at the time and she was unemployed with no income or any other support (other than me). It covered her daughter completely since my wife was in the middle of a divorce from her useless ex-husband. Medicaid completely covered my wife for a few months after birth. I was never covered and my son did not get any coverage after he was born.

    Luckily, we had Medicaid when our daughter needed $40,000 worth of surgery to repair her colon which had turned inside out, without which she would have died in agony. FORTY thousand dollars for a couple hours of surgery. For those who brag about our \"health care system\" being \"the best in the world\"- screw you. You've obviously never been put in a position like my wife and I had to face with our daughter. If we hadn't had Medicaid, we probably would not have taken her to the hospital for the tests that eventually determined our doctor's original diagnosis (stomach flu) was EXTREMELY off.

    How many people have died because they couldn't afford to go to the doctor or hospital and simply hoped they would get better?

    We aren't talking lazy people who would rather buy a video game or a pack of cigarettes than pay for a doctor. Medical bills cost as much as many HOUSES.

    We also didn't get any \"Medicaid checks\" as referenced by the letter-writer. I suspect he's either lying or was given the wrong information. And since such lies and misinformation obviously fits in with the prejudices the letter-writer obviously feels about how \"unfair\" Medicaid and social services are to \"the working class\", he is obviously going to take such lies and misinformation as truth.
    I'm thankful that your daughter was covered for that very expensive surgery Evil. I'm thankful that Medicaid exists for all who need medical care. The story in the letter to the Editor did not fit with my understanding of how Medicaid works. I had never heard of them sending monthly checks to unmarried mothers after their children were born?

    It has been my understanding that whether the parents are married or unmarried, the father and mother are responsible for paying for the support of their children unless the parents are disabled in some way?

    People who milk the system and lie about their family structure, as it sounds like happened in the Auburn case recently, are taking money out of the system from the truely needy.

    Reading Jeff Miller's letter, I do believe he is reporting what he heard from his driveway repairman. That story would have disturbed me also. My thoughts are that the driveway man was either lying, or committing fraud against our State.

    I hope Mr. Miller understands the legitimate need for medicaid for many in our community. This current economy is a prime example of many going uninsured due to lack of employment insurance.
    "It is the power of thought that gives man power over nature."
    Hans Christian Anderson

  5. #5
    Torget Guest

    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    First, glad to hear your daughter got the medical attention she needed.

    But, I seriously doubt the man is lying. I personally know a couple in the exact same situation. The are not married and have kids together. They are living in the same house. He works when he feels like it and she has a full time job. Yet she has medicaid for all of their children AND receives over $900 A MONTH from them too!!! She brags about eating steaks every night just so she can use up the money! My wife and I bust our rears and can't afford to have steaks every night!! Now,this same woman turned down a better paying job because her medicaid check would be smaller and she would make less overall than she does now. Yes the system is screwed up...

    There is a lot more fraud going on than most people want to admit to.
    Last edited by Torget; 04-12-2010 at 10:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    I wonder how this 'deadbeat Dad' thing works where they go after the Fathers of children who have not been paying child support?

    When the Father is located, isn't he required to refund the state for the child support the state has paid? I'm fairly certain it would need to be paid on a payment schedule, but he certainly should be required to reimburse the state.
    "It is the power of thought that gives man power over nature."
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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    It pays not to work.I wished I had known this 70 yrs. ago.

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Torget View Post
    There is a lot more fraud going on than most people want to admit to.
    And even if you are correct, is it worth trashing the entire system, ensuring that the majority who need it suffer because a small percentage abuses it?

    Capitalism is FULL of fraud (as evidenced by any number of accounting prosecutions and bank failures during the last decade). Should we scrap capitalism because some people take advantage of it?

    Look at those who abuse the two systems. On one hand, anecdotal evidence of people avoiding work because SSI pays more (using the "ill-gotten" money to feed, clothe and house their children); on the other hand, people like Kenneth Lay, Bernard Madoff or Charles Keating swindled investors out of BILLIONS of dollars. Both situations cost U.S. taxpayers plenty, but some politicians and people of a certain political bent would focus all their energy on the former while fighting tooth and nail any efforts to reform the system to prevent future abuses of the latter.

    Why are so many people so willing to axe a system created to help those in need (Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps) yet so anxious to protect a system that is defined by greed and a callous indifference to human misery?
    Apples are good,
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    Bananas are perverted,
    And kumquats are just, plain evil...

  9. #9
    Torget Guest

    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    I don't believe that anyone has advocated scrapping the whole system Evil, just that there is fraud and that it is screwed up. There needs to be tighter controls with a system of checks and balances so that those who need it can get it but not abuse it and those that are abusing it and commiting fraud are caught.

    The idea of revamping or restructuring is not the same as wanting to axe the system.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Torget View Post
    I don't believe that anyone has advocated scrapping the whole system Evil, just that there is fraud and that it is screwed up. There needs to be tighter controls with a system of checks and balances so that those who need it can get it but not abuse it and those that are abusing it and commiting fraud are caught.

    The idea of revamping or restructuring is not the same as wanting to axe the system.
    Social Security is anathema to many Conservatives, Torget. They have worked diligently since FDR helped usher it in to dismantle the highly successful program, considering it counter to their core beliefs (akin to the anti-choice crowd hating Roe vs. Wade or the Mormons and gay rights).

    In the world of the wealthy, where many are born with advantages unavailable (or denied) to the rest of us, they simply cannot fathom that anyone would ever need any extra-familial support. Funny how so many of them were waiting in line for bailouts when their Wall Street firms and banks started going under with the near collapse of our economy, however.

    I think it not unlikely that, under the guise of "reforming a broken system" many on the Right would take what steps they could to dismantle as much of our social services as possible, like how James Watt under Reagan helped gut so many of the environmental protections started by his predecessors.

    Through the course of my employment (not to mention the experiences of my wife and daughter) I have seen first-hand how many people, through no fault of their own, truly need the programs offered through SSI and Medicaid. Yes, I have also seen those who abuse it. I have yet to see any real need for "massive reform" as advocated by some. I think any major efforts to change the system we have would do more harm than good, if nothing more than simply make it that much harder for those who need help.

    Which could be the intent, since a confusing system may be less likely to be used.
    Apples are good,
    Oranges are bad,
    Lemons are rude,
    Bananas are perverted,
    And kumquats are just, plain evil...

  11. #11
    Torget Guest

    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    The main crux here is that those who honestly do need it have a hard time getting it, yet those who don't need it seem to be able to get the max benefit. This is what needs to be changed.

    You said capitalism is full of fraud. I agree. But so is socialism, as evidenced by the fraud just in these two programs.

    There is no perfect system. All systems need to be open to making adjustments and changes as needed to ensure their success. Without that, any system will fail given enough time. It is time to make some changes and adjustments. From your perspective you see more people who really need it, From my experience and first hand knowledge I see more fraud than those who really need it. You have examples that back your claim, and I have examples that back mine. The truth lies in the middle I suspect with equal fraud and need.

    Now, in my opinion, several MILLIONS of dollars could be saved or at the least channeled to those who need it if we could elliminate the majority of the fraud that is taking place. Again, this is my opinion and I have no hard evidence to back up this claim savings, other than my rough guestimation from the fraud I see occurring.

    I am not wealthy. I do see the need for some people to get a help when needed. But it should not become a way of life for them, which does happen. They become complacent with no desire to better themselves or their situation. they are happy to stay at home and get paid to do it. Their attitude is why should I go work when the state pays for everything? I know several that are on the system and have this attitude and they are not the minority. I have only known 2 people who have ever used it for it's intended purpose as a help until you get back on your feet. Those two people lost their jobs thru no fault of their own. They used up their unemployment benefits and then had to go on medicaid. They both took responsibility for their situations and took out student loans and went back to school and got a degree. Both are living quite comfortably now and went off the system as soon as they were able to because they just hated the idea of being on it and needing the help. Not like most others that I know that are on it, they don't want to get off the system.

    Do not misunderstand me...I know that there are those that need it and It is good it is there for them. I am not saying we should axe the whole thing. just some adjustments to limit the fraud. I say limit the fraud because in no system will there never be any fraud. But you can limit it to the point it becomes manageable. Currently it is not manageable, it is out of control. If something isn't done, there won't be any help left for those that do need it.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Torget View Post
    The main crux here is that those who honestly do need it have a hard time getting it, yet those who don't need it seem to be able to get the max benefit. This is what needs to be changed.

    You said capitalism is full of fraud. I agree. But so is socialism, as evidenced by the fraud just in these two programs.

    There is no perfect system. All systems need to be open to making adjustments and changes as needed to ensure their success. Without that, any system will fail given enough time. It is time to make some changes and adjustments. From your perspective you see more people who really need it, From my experience and first hand knowledge I see more fraud than those who really need it. You have examples that back your claim, and I have examples that back mine. The truth lies in the middle I suspect with equal fraud and need.

    Now, in my opinion, several MILLIONS of dollars could be saved or at the least channeled to those who need it if we could elliminate the majority of the fraud that is taking place. Again, this is my opinion and I have no hard evidence to back up this claim savings, other than my rough guestimation from the fraud I see occurring.

    I am not wealthy. I do see the need for some people to get a help when needed. But it should not become a way of life for them, which does happen. They become complacent with no desire to better themselves or their situation. they are happy to stay at home and get paid to do it. Their attitude is why should I go work when the state pays for everything? I know several that are on the system and have this attitude and they are not the minority. I have only known 2 people who have ever used it for it's intended purpose as a help until you get back on your feet. Those two people lost their jobs thru no fault of their own. They used up their unemployment benefits and then had to go on medicaid. They both took responsibility for their situations and took out student loans and went back to school and got a degree. Both are living quite comfortably now and went off the system as soon as they were able to because they just hated the idea of being on it and needing the help. Not like most others that I know that are on it, they don't want to get off the system.

    Do not misunderstand me...I know that there are those that need it and It is good it is there for them. I am not saying we should axe the whole thing. just some adjustments to limit the fraud. I say limit the fraud because in no system will there never be any fraud. But you can limit it to the point it becomes manageable. Currently it is not manageable, it is out of control. If something isn't done, there won't be any help left for those that do need it.
    I see "fraud" as just a distraction for those who want to completely dismantle or cripple our social systems, much in the same way that those opposed to health care reform were screaming for "tort reform".

    In the case of "tort reform", the costs attributed to malpractice or frivolous lawsuits are estimated as two to three billion (from what I have read). This seems like a ton of money (and it is) yet only accounts for a few percentage points in the entire scheme of health care. Yet the conservatives seemed to latch on to the idea as if fixing excessive lawsuits was going to have the biggest impact on health care as a whole. Worse, they tried blocking ALL legislation and reform until this one insignificant (when compared to the whole) issue was resolved.

    I see Medicaid fraud investigations in a similar light. Sure, take steps to curtail abuses in the system, but one should never let a few cases such as the one mentioned by the OP threaten the entire system.

    ON EDIT: I tried finding any reliable statistics on Medicaid fraud in Indiana and came up short. The only thing I was able to find was a website that listed Indiana's Medicaid budget was a little over $5 billion in 2007. All statements regarding Medicaid fraud that I've seen have said something along the lines of "fraud costs millions". So even at a HUGE conservative estimate that Medicaid fraud cost taxpayers $900 million, that's still less than a fifth of the budget. Again, that's a HUGELY conservative estimate. With no figures to the contrary, the cost could be $100 million or even $10 million. Yes, these are still MILLIONS of dollars, but still a drop in the bucket when compared to the whole.

    I would love to see actual documentation of the TRUE cost of Medicaid fraud, especially when compared to the whole.

    Also, there is more to Medicaid fraud than just "lazy" people milking the system. What about all those doctors and medical firms that submit fraudulent claims? Isn't that more a failure in capitalism than socialism?
    Last edited by evilkumquat; 04-13-2010 at 10:20 AM. Reason: Additional Info
    Apples are good,
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    Lemons are rude,
    Bananas are perverted,
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  13. #13

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by evilkumquat View Post
    I tried finding any reliable statistics on Medicaid fraud in Indiana and came up short. The only thing I was able to find was a website that listed Indiana's Medicaid budget was a little over $5 billion in 2007. All statements regarding Medicaid fraud that I've seen have said something along the lines of \"fraud costs millions\". So even at a HUGE conservative estimate that Medicaid fraud cost taxpayers $900 million, that's still less than a fifth of the budget. Again, that's a HUGELY conservative estimate.
    You realize that a 'conservative estimate' means it's on the small side, right?
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on the article of the Constitution which grants a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
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  14. #14
    Torget Guest

    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Yes Evil I agree that fraudulent claims are also an abuse that needs to be addressed. Now, even on a conservative level, Let's say that both individual fraud and doctor and hospital fraud claims equals, Oh let's say 10% total...How long can a business last if they have a 10% loss to theft on a continuous basis? Even 5% hurts and can kill a business in a short time. Businesses employ a means to reduce theft. All I am saying is that they should do the same with these programs. You see it as a minor thing and borders on not even being something that should be addressed, What if an extra 5% or 10% of your income was stolen from you on a continuous basis? wouldn't you try to stop the thief who was taking your money?

    How many more people could be helped with that stolen money??? It is a small percent, but it is still a lot of money that could be redirected into other programs that have shortfalls.

    I too would like to see some true costs of fraud, but I don't think we would ever get those numbers unless all fraud was eliminated and then compare numbers, and seeing that there is no way of eliminating all of the fraud, we will never know the true cost and loss due to fraud.

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathandiehl View Post
    You realize that a 'conservative estimate' means it's on the small side, right?
    Political conservative estimates of costs for a program proposed by political liberals may NOT be on the small side. There is a vast difference between the meaning of a Politically conservative budget and simply a conservative budget. One of the quirks in our English language is the multiple meanings of the same words in our language.
    "It is the power of thought that gives man power over nature."
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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHelen View Post
    Political conservative estimates of costs for a program proposed by political liberals may NOT be on the small side. There is a vast difference between the meaning of a Politically conservative budget and simply a conservative budget. One of the quirks in our English language is the multiple meanings of the same words in our language.
    Gotcha.
    Odd choice of wording, imho.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on the article of the Constitution which grants a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
    --James Madison

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    Default Re: Is America Failing?

    I don't believe either Political Conservatives or Political Liberals support fraud of our Medicaid system. The Medicaid system doesn't need to be trashed, it is needed more now than it has been needed in decades. What needs to be trashed are those who are abusing the system, taking needed resources out of the system and causing families in true need to go on a waiting list for funds to become available.

    Don't you all wonder how much our savings might be from fraud cases if we simply hired a few new social workers to confirm that those receiving benefits are receiving them legally? Any social worker who advises a young couple on how to not become married and enables them to milk the system isn't doing the young couple any favors and certainly not respecting the taxpayers of Indiana.

    Just today, I discovered that someone in my community is doing what Jeff mentioned with getting the birth of 3 babies paid for, she (unmarried) is now receiving money for all 3 children and getting a monthly check. The father of her children doesn't work at all, he lives with the family, and the mother works part time on occassion. I don't want to see people like this to cause a much needed program for our needy to be lost because of their abuse of the system.

    I'm curious...has the name of social assistance programs changed from Welfare to Medicaid? I had always considered Medicaid as a program that assisted with medical payments for the needy. This week I discover they issue monthly assistance checks .... did Welfare get wrapped up into the Medicaid program? Or are they still 2 different programs?
    "It is the power of thought that gives man power over nature."
    Hans Christian Anderson

  18. Default Re: Is America Failing?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierHelen View Post
    I'm curious...has the name of social assistance programs changed from Welfare to Medicaid? I had always considered Medicaid as a program that assisted with medical payments for the needy. This week I discover they issue monthly assistance checks .... did Welfare get wrapped up into the Medicaid program? Or are they still 2 different programs?
    Helen, you are correct, unless something has changed.
    Medicaid pays for medical payments only.

    More than likely, there are other social (welfare) programs available, some of which may be based on Medicaid eligibility to qualify. More than likely, there are two or more programs here. Medicaid "eligibility" may lead some people to believe it is part of the same program, in my opinion.

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