Sunday, June 8, 2014

Virginia's Mean and Callous Joke . . .

I’m guardian for Sylvester who lives in Assisted Living where he paid ('privately) $2250.00 per month until his saved money ran out; now he pays $1450.00 per month (the owner has a heart of gold, likes Sylvester and agreed to reduce the rate, otherwise he’d be in the street). He thrives there. And at that rate the owner gets a whopping $243.00 more than she would be paid if Sylvester was on the embarrassing disgrace called ‘auxiliary grant’. (see my blog entry on THAT)

Sylvester’s net Social Security income is $18,876.00 per year or $1573.00 per month (after Medicare A, B and D are deducted). So he has $123.00 per month remaining for clothing, diapers, incidentals, Medicare co-pays, my fee for serving as guardian, etc. (I will NOT ‘short’ the assisted living facility as a roof over his head and meals is the most important priority). 

Sylvester has cancer. He presently OWES medical bills of over $4600.00 (that I know of). He needs treatment; the cancer care provider (who has the stupidest billing department I’ve encountered in 20 years of guardianship) is raising hell over its unpaid bill of over $500.00 (and increasing every day); the pharmacy is raising hell over its unpaid bill of over $3500.00 (and increasing every day).  And I have no way to pay any of them.  UPDATE: the day after I posted this I got a letter from the pharmacy that they are discontinuing his meds -- I asked if they (a HUGE national pharmacy) had a charity program and they said NO.

The cancer care provider suggested we apply for Medicaid.  My thought was it’d be easier to move the Rock of Gibraltar to the African continent on the other side of the strait, and I said as much. Nevertheless we (futilely) sent in an application. As I expected it was denied but he was placed on something called “Spend-down”.

If you thought the ‘auxiliary grant’ was a cruel joke, you haven’t seen ‘spend-down’. It is mean and callous.

Our exalted Commonwealth of Virginia’s Medicaid program will pay the difference in
Sylvester’s medical bills OVER $8041.08. After insurance.  Over the six months ending October 31, 2014.


NO-ONE can meet a criteria so damned asinine.

I’m pissed off at this. I’m pissed off because the “we don’t like anything Obama does and will stonewall everything related to him” Republicans refuse to expand Medicaid benefits in Virginia. AT NO COST to Virginia for the first 4 years of expansion. That expansion would probably cover Sylvester.

This is unconscionable. It makes me think that the Republicans want poor people to die so they won’t have to pay for their care. It’s the only logical answer – there’s no other way to explain what they’re doing. I don’t even think former Governor and US Senator Harry F. Byrd would stoop this low.

To protect Sylvester, I’m going to have to figure out how to get him into a nursing home where Medicaid WILL pay for his care.  At a cost to Virginia taxpayers of over $12,000.00 per year (based on Virginia’s share of Medicaid spending). The Republicans are penny-wise and pound foolish – and are too senseless to understand it.

And they’ll tell me I’m wrong about them that they really do care.  Really?  Then prove it.  Expand Medicaid. Show the world we’re better than Mississippi.