Friday, June 17, 2011

Flex Spending Or F'd Spending?

A childhood friend, and all around GREAT human being, Sue Quartarone wrote about her issues with the government's answer to Medicare Gaps and other issues with high pharmaceutical costs- the "Flex Spending" Accounts. They are supposed to be some sort of savings program designed to keep medical costs down for those of us who just can't afford them. Instead it's become the bureaucratic slapdashery that seems to permeate all of the "helpful" ways the government steps into our lives.

I'm not a Libertarian. I refuse to align myself to ANY party at all. At ALL- and NEVER will I be called Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Mormon, Lithuanian, or Tap Dancer. I just don't see the point in this stage of humanity in the separation of humans based on something that may have had a purpose when Tories, Whigs, and Separatists made for great history book babble. If the basic premise of political action is to find a joint answer for questions needing a resolve for the greater good, (all together, Hot Fuzz fans, "The Greater Good"), then unification is the first step in finding those answers. Deflate politics, and deal with issues. Period. But that's my 47 year-old's optimism again. Sorry for that babble.

Sue wrote this wonderful statement of the frustration we ALL feel when we rely on the programs that are supposed to be in place for supporting us, but instead creates more aggravation, questions, and despair.

Is this country f*cked?
by Sue Quartarone on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 at 12:41

In order to get MY money back from the flexible spending account for items such as cold medicines or other OTC items, I need a prescription--for each item specifically and with the number of refills allowed--and it(prescription) must be dated before the purchase was made.

So, every time I go to the store to buy Dimetapp or Benadryl, I have to call the doctor for a prescription and hold onto that prescription to submit to the reimbursement company? CALCIUM, which every woman MUST take, and OTC vitamins need a letter of medical necessity. I called my doctor and was informed that the letters/prescriptions will cost me MORE THAN I will be reimbursed! Is this Obama-care at its best? WTF? Is this what we pay our legislators for? Who the fuck came up with this one?-- I know that this is regulated by the IRS, but it's still a garbage rule regarding our health care.

This is just as bad as my other grievance that even though we supposedly don't have to pay a co-pay for our annual check-up IF you then discuss anything that's going on with you medically during said physical, the doctor can legally bill the insurance company for a second visit. NOT ONLY THAT, but then you, the patient having that annual now have to pay a co-pay for the "medical" portion of the check-up!

First of all, one of the first questions the doctor asks at the appointment is whether you have any questions or concerns about anything regarding your health. THAT IS WHAT A PHYSICAL IS FOR!

Second, I was not informed by the doctor that by actually asking a question I would have to pay $25 for an answer.

Third, with this wonderful new loophole in Obama's healthcare bill, a doctor's office can legally bill the insurance company for two visits even though we were in the office for only that one visit,

AND they (doctors), are getting paid by the insurance company twice the amount of what they formerly were paid for the same type of appointment. Why can't these doctors just write off the co-pay since they are already getting extra cash from the Insurance? The only thing all of this greed based medicine is going to do is to keep people from calling the doctor!

Sue's point is what I hear screaming from the mouths of every one who wonders what the point of Flexnet spending is! And more so, how can insurance companies now double bill for appointments previously included in the insurance policies as covered preventive annual care? The news plays the tune of how horrible our health is as a society in the United States, yet when we try to do something for it, our penalty is financial, and often due to that reason, we end up missing out of preventing issues that may have been discovered at these annual appointments.

The civil war is at hand. We have been pushing for a change in our politicians for the removal of lobbyists, for the true concept of listening to constituents, for the idea that our bodies do not belong to those who make rules in a cushy office in Washington D.C. . The true health of the United States has more to do with the stress and pain people we elect create rather than the stress of our lives, families, work, or lack thereof, and certainly we don't like the idea of walking into a drug store, expecting our self-paid benefits to be ignored due to yet another loophole in some other rule created by yet one more person in office who was wooed and manipulated by Pharmaceutical companies and Insurance agents.

Since Ronald Reagan made a stand and removed people from Mental Health Facilities; since the inceptions of HMO and managed health "solutions"; since some nut job in a voting capacity elected to change our children's Physical Education, cafeteria, and oh yeah, the free breakfast/lunch programs---all of this is the start of what will likely be the end of political interference in our health. The American public screams for comfort foods, low cost options- which tend to lie in Fast Food-, and even the idea that we have to go to auction websites to find medical equipment that wasn't"approved" by some manual of Insurance Company ABC.

Our civil war includes those of us who are on Medicare or another health program because we are disabled, of advanced age, and have PAID into a system. Our civil war is against those in the media who focus on our weight as a society rather than the removal of physical education in our schools. Our civil war is against those who stop mental health appointments after "six visits per year as stated in our guidelines". Six visits? Seriously? Our civil war is against programs that blatantly LIE to the consumer regarding their purpose and our ability to use them- such as Flex Spending.

Sue is now a warrior in our civil war. I'm sure many reading this are as well. The only way to stop it is to cut back on the multitudes of those who seem to have cropped up in Washington who plan our health decisions based on GREED. Many of us voted for a President whom we expected to listen to our causes, who seemed to be less likely to be swayed by those already in power. Instead, it's apparent we have a man whose hair is now whitened by the rigors of office- who was schooled in the reality of his role as Commander in Chief. No one in the White House ever has, nor ever will be able to change the way the House and Senate makes decisions until we, the people, make the drastic, warrior step, to change the way our public offices are created, run, and how long each person in those roles should stay there. This civil war is on its way to be one of the longest in history. The Rich may get richer, but those of us in the trenches are now wiser, and that is how true change begins.

We have Freedom of Speech. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the thousands of years of human history to teach us why those in power inevitably fail the lands which are led. It always, invariably, starts with greed and ends in bloodshed. Hospitals, doctors, nurses- and Insurance companies- are creating the bloodshed now. Right now- we all know at least one person who has died of medical mishaps, or due to a "rule" implemented. You and I as warriors need to let those in charge that we DO NOT want any more government rules and missteps. We want to be given what is right, fair, and most of all UNDERSTOOD by those who are expecting a level of care. Flex Net spending is one HUGE issue that must be addressed. Write to your congressmen. Call your Senators. TALK to your friends, families, your health care providers, and even your Insurance Comapany. Be the warrior, not the victim.

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