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Mueller says he has no more indictments rolling out other than the 30+ he has already filed. He has also asked for Rick Gates's sentencing to be delayed for a bit more. And Roger Stone is heading into the court under the judge that gave Manfort his second sentence.

 

Muller's report might be done, but there are still 20-25 court cases that have to be gone over.

CES

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23 hours ago, csyphrett said:

Would you believe some genius at the SSA wants to make sure handicapped people are handicapped by reading their Facebook posts? Somebody posted the story up and  essentially people think that's going to reduce the fraud by old people.

CES

 

Back when Dateline, 20/20, and the rest of the similar evening news shows covered things other than lurid crime stories, each used to do an undercover segment or two a year showing hidden camera footage of supposedly disabled people who were doing hours of unrestricted hard manual labor. Then they'd move in and bust the "disabled" person on camera, asking him how he's able to do all of this work. Later they'd show the footage to officials at the Social Security Administration to get their reaction and wrap up by telling what the resolution to the story was. Usually the person who was defrauding the system at the very least had their benefits cut off, though some were having to pay back money or were facing trial for fraud.

 

Looking at their Facebook isn't the worst idea if they have a reason to suspect someone of fraud. If you're posting pictures of yourself skiing in Aspen when you supposedly can barely walk....

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21 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

There is a recurring myth in some political circles that a large portion of the people that receive disability payments are, "faking it," so the government needs to monitor their activities and gather evidence of this.

 

There's supposedly been a skyrocketing number of people going onto disability in the US for more than the last 15 years so it is somewhat understandable that people may suspect there's a reason for it. The increase has been faster than what could be explained by an aging population (or at least it was when last I looked at it over a decade ago).

 

 

I put myself through a lot more hell than I should have in order to keep working literally as long as I possibly could. And my employer worked with me admirably for the last few years in order to keep me despite my health problems (until the last two months when I got a new boss but that's a very messy story).

 

Not everyone is willing to put themselves through hell in order to keep a job and not everyone has an employer who is willing to work with employees who are obviously ill and suffering.

 

But when I was finally forced to attempt to get on to disability, I had a four to five inch thick sheathe of medical records with years of testing data from various specialists to explain why I needed to go on disability. I got cleared for disability payments faster than anyone else my case worker had ever seen, according to her, despite the local office twice screwing up by putting the wrong codes on my paperwork.

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My wife tried to get help from SSA and never did.  The office kept losing her paperwork and demanding paperwork from the hospital that they should have already had but couldn't find. And at the end, Cathy didn't get any help at all until the ACA came along.

 

So my opinion of SSA and DoH is pretty low at the best of times, and an initiative like this just seems like an excuse not to do their real job which they don't do anyway because that's how much they suck

CES 

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1 hour ago, csyphrett said:

My wife tried to get help from SSA and never did.  The office kept losing her paperwork and demanding paperwork from the hospital that they should have already had but couldn't find. And at the end, Cathy didn't get any help at all until the ACA came along.

 

So my opinion of SSA and DoH is pretty low at the best of times, and an initiative like this just seems like an excuse not to do their real job which they don't do anyway because that's how much they suck

CES 

 

That's a very common complaint. We went through that to some extent ourselves (my wife kept complaining and pushing until our case worker admitted that there was only one person in their HUGE office who knew how to properly code the paperwork so that it would be processed rather than being merely shuffled around from worker to worker until some part of it got lost).

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On 3/23/2019 at 8:04 AM, archer said:

But when I was finally forced to attempt to get on to disability, I had a four to five inch thick sheathe of medical records with years of testing data from various specialists to explain why I needed to go on disability. I got cleared for disability payments faster than anyone else my case worker had ever seen, according to her, despite the local office twice screwing up by putting the wrong codes on my paperwork.

 

At least that worked out.  I had a family member get denied, get their appeal insta-rejected and then had to lawyer up.  About 15 months before they saw check #1 and 25% of the accumulated disability payments had to go to the lawyer.

 

If you have any doubt that the rate of fraud is picking up just spend a morning at the SSA office and look who's applying for benefits.

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1 hour ago, Toxxus said:

 

At least that worked out.  I had a family member get denied, get their appeal insta-rejected and then had to lawyer up.  About 15 months before they saw check #1 and 25% of the accumulated disability payments had to go to the lawyer.

 

If you have any doubt that the rate of fraud is picking up just spend a morning at the SSA office and look who's applying for benefits.

 

I'm very bad at making decisions concerning the medical status of others from a casual meeting, so I'd have no way to really decide if someone is attempting to commit fraud by applying for SSI just by looking at them. Given the anecdotal stories about how hard it is to get those benefits, I can't really see where the big payoff would be, anyway.

 

When I was a kid, my Dad suffered a major heart attack which damaged his kidneys. It took about 7 months for him to get his first check, and he suffered a fatal heart attack only a few hours after cashing it. Mom and I had survivor benefits until I turned 18, but she also worked to make ends meet.

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48 minutes ago, Ternaugh said:

 

I'm very bad at making decisions concerning the medical status of others from a casual meeting, so I'd have no way to really decide if someone is attempting to commit fraud by applying for SSI just by looking at them. Given the anecdotal stories about how hard it is to get those benefits, I can't really see where the big payoff would be, anyway.

 

When I was a kid, my Dad suffered a major heart attack which damaged his kidneys. It took about 7 months for him to get his first check, and he suffered a fatal heart attack only a few hours after cashing it. Mom and I had survivor benefits until I turned 18, but she also worked to make ends meet.

 

I had to twice stand in line for 1.5-2 hours waiting for the SSA office to open...waiting along with 50-60 other people. I can't say I can figure out who is disabled by looking at them, not at all, but everyone but me didn't seem to have a problem standing that length of time and have to sit on the sidewalk. And all the rest of them could hold casual conversations with the people around them without any apparent difficulties. (Considering back problems severe enough to disable someone was one of the top reasons people applied for disability benefits at the time, I thought it was odd that I didn't see any other people in apparent distress. I was on three prescription pain medicines plus naproxen sodium and was still in enough pain that there was no way I could mask the fact that I was in significant pain from others.)

 

By the time I got inside the building, waited there for a long time, and got to see a case worker, I was still non-verbal from the stress and uncontrollably, visibly shaking like a leaf.

 

An outside observer might not have been able to pick out everyone who was "really" disabled, but everyone would have picked me as the person in the line who they thought was really disabled.

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On ‎3‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 10:50 PM, Badger said:

 

 

And, interestingly, the most anti-illegal immigration people I have met are LEGAL immigrants.  As much time and bureaucracy they have to cut through, I can see why illegal immigration can be offensive to them  (at least one guy last I saw-circa 2014- was still trying to get family over the legal way, nearly a decade after he had come here)

 

 

 

Yup. 

Our path to legal immigration needs a load of more funding so we can have enough judges, bureaucrats and more helping streamline it. A big way to discourage illegal immigration would be to make it so legally doing so wasn't a nearly decade long nightmare.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Toxxus said:

 

At least that worked out.  I had a family member get denied, get their appeal insta-rejected and then had to lawyer up.  About 15 months before they saw check #1 and 25% of the accumulated disability payments had to go to the lawyer.

 

If you have any doubt that the rate of fraud is picking up just spend a morning at the SSA office and look who's applying for benefits.

 

I cant say I was a fan with  pre-Obamacare or after with Obamacare.  Since, it took effect, there has been a quite an Exodus of professionals in the medical community from my area to bigger cities.  Considering when my mother broke a bone in her neck, this December.  Having to take a 2 county ambulance ride, and wait nearly 48 hours from the time of the accident, to get surgery (for what doctors considered a slight slide of bone from fatality).  I am not a big fan.   Having healthcare doesn't mean a damn, if there are no doctors (our county has a hospital on life support essentially that cant really treat anything advanced, the next county over there only hospital closed 3 years ago, and they have been struggling threw loads of red tape to reopen of late)

 

Honestly, I can only speak locally, it may well be better off, nationally.  I just know between pre-Obamacare to now.  Locally, we were doing quite better before. (and the local hospital was in the lower 10 percent nationally before, to begin with).  

 

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6 hours ago, Hermit said:

 

Yup. 

Our path to legal immigration needs a load of more funding so we can have enough judges, bureaucrats and more helping streamline it. A big way to discourage illegal immigration would be to make it so legally doing so wasn't a nearly decade long nightmare.

 

 

 

In my experience, if there was one thing our government specializes in, it is acquiring a ridiculous amount of bureaucracy. It collects bureaucrats like our community collects comics.  I doubt they would want to streamline it.  

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49 minutes ago, Badger said:

 

In my experience, if there was one thing our government specializes in, it is acquiring a ridiculous amount of bureaucracy. It collects bureaucrats like our community collects comics.  I doubt they would want to streamline it.  

You may have me there.

 

But still.. we are woefully understaffed for our legal immigration process

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I knew a lady who had disability and had to work. The agency said she couldn't work pass twenty hours or they would cut her. The problem was she was a cashier and that's all she could do. I did the clean up for her when we worked together because she couldn't move anything. And you couldn't tell how she was disabled either.

CES 

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9 hours ago, Badger said:

 

I cant say I was a fan with  pre-Obamacare or after with Obamacare.  Since, it took effect, there has been a quite an Exodus of professionals in the medical community from my area to bigger cities.  Considering when my mother broke a bone in her neck, this December.  Having to take a 2 county ambulance ride, and wait nearly 48 hours from the time of the accident, to get surgery (for what doctors considered a slight slide of bone from fatality).  I am not a big fan.   Having healthcare doesn't mean a damn, if there are no doctors (our county has a hospital on life support essentially that cant really treat anything advanced, the next county over there only hospital closed 3 years ago, and they have been struggling threw loads of red tape to reopen of late)

 

Honestly, I can only speak locally, it may well be better off, nationally.  I just know between pre-Obamacare to now.  Locally, we were doing quite better before. (and the local hospital was in the lower 10 percent nationally before, to begin with).  

 

 

Since Obamacare passed into law, I'm on my 7th general practitioner.

 

The first ended his practice because he was already having trouble making enough money to keep the practice going and the cost of upgrading his computer systems to comply with the online medical documents mandate was more than he could justify spending.

 

The second decided she didn't want patients who had chronic health problems and encouraged me to find someone else because she wasn't willing to put in the work and take the risk it'd be to remain my doctor.

 

The third got disgusted with the Obamacare changes and quit accepting medical insurance at all. He changed his whole practice into a concierge medical service where you paid $4000 per family member per year up front for the privilege of letting him be your doctor. He told me he anticipated being able to drop more than half of his workload, most of his paperwork headaches, and still keep his income the same.

 

The fourth was a good doctor but the practice was having trouble making money so he moved out of the city where I presume his costs were lower.

 

The fifth was in the same practice as the fourth doctor. But the practice still wasn't making money even after moving to cheaper offices. She still couldn't make money and didn't want to put up the the hassle of being a GP, so she quit being a general practitioner and became a specialist.

 

The sixth was a physician's assistant (PA) in the same practice rather than a full doctor. So I'd have an appointment with her and a productive conversation, and we'd decide on a course of action. Then after I left, at some point later she would have to run the plan we came up with by one of the other doctors in the practice, none of whom took Medicare patients like me. Then that doctor without familiarizing herself with my full medical history would make changes to what the PA and I discussed and those changes wouldn't be communicated to me. Such winners as cutting one of my diabetes medicine dosages in half (and the PA and doctor later being forced to admit whoops, that was a flat out mistake in writing out the prescription) and deliberately removing me completely from triglyceride medication despite the fact that my levels were still far above the recommended level and that my history from the last time I was completely off of medication was that my level was six times the recommended maximum (my GP doctor at the time had his nurses come in and look at the rash caused by the blood fats boiling out of the surface of my skin. Nurses generally don't get to see that because people are dead before they get that bad.).

 

Now, for my 7th GP,  I'm making the drive out to the country to go back and again be a patient of the fourth doctor, who was at least competent, interested, and still in business.

 

I'd had 2 GP's in the previous thirty years before Obamacare became law.

 

Since Obamacare became law nine years ago, I've had 7 GP's. Two of those changes the doctor himself said the reason he would no longer be my doctor was Obamacare. I can't tie the other ones directly to Obamacare but when my average time being with a GP changes from 15 years each to 1.28 years each, obviously something has destabilized things in a way that didn't exist before.

 

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1 hour ago, archer said:

Since Obamacare became law nine years ago, I've had 7 GP's. Two of those changes the doctor himself said the reason he would no longer be my doctor was Obamacare. I can't tie the other ones directly to Obamacare but when my average time being with a GP changes from 15 years each to 1.28 years each, obviously something has destabilized things in a way that didn't exist before.

 

I worked on the software integration between the state & federal Affordable (ha!) Care Act act groups and one of the nations largest insurance carriers.  It was a hot mess.  The states struggled so greatly with the complexity of the work that almost all of them defaulted their people to the federal exchange.

 

The subsidization rate was astronomical.  Also, my favorite part of Obamacare (seriously) the protection for people with pre-existing conditions was exploited at unbelievable levels.  Essentially, people would wait until they were sick to sign up for the coverage and rely on sign up grace periods that were endlessly extended.  The penalties for not getting insurance were cheaper than the insurance for a lot of people (the ones not so heavily subsidized) so they simply didn't sign up.

 

Costs were massively over predictions so fast that many carriers began to drop out and a large number of areas had only a single provider left (one provider and a government mandate forcing you to sign up.).

 

And the healthcare provider issue exists for Medicare as well.  They keep cutting payments and the number of doctors willing to tolerate Medicare patients continues to dwindle.

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My doctor switched to Concierge Care about a decade ago, and dropped his patient load from about 4000 to around 600 people. I pay $1750 per year to keep him. He doesn't accept my private insurance, so we have a deal that office visits are $60, including lab fees. Before I started seeing him, I hadn't had a regular doctor since childhood.

 

My private insurance is provided by my work. A few years ago, they modified the PPO plan from 80/20 to 50/50 with a $3000 deductible per year, which generally made it worthless to me. I switched to the HMO, which is affiliated with a certain group of providers that have a reputation for long wait times and less than personal service (they use a lot of PAs). The fee schedule is also wonky. I had suffered a severe allergic reaction to a medication last year, and found the back of my mouth closing up. Because I went to the emergency room, it cost me $1500 out of pocket. Had I gone to a quick care first, I would have paid the $50 co-pay, been medically evacuated from their facility by ambulance, and then would have paid a much reduced fee for the hospitalization. I'd also probably be dead from not being able to breathe. I had driven myself to the hospital, but I would have been charged a minimum of $1200 if I had called an ambulance.

 

I had used the pre-existing conditions clause when I had transferred insurance from my previous employer's plan (paid under COBRA) to my current employer's plan. I had a lapse in insurance about a decade ago pre-Obamacare (I couldn't afford COBRA payments of over $1000 per month), and it took me 6 months of payments before the new insurance would pay for anything. 

 

The level of service from my HMO is woefully below what friends of mine from other countries receive from their single-payer plans, and the cost is ridiculously higher than it should be.

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It’s not necessarily going away, as only congress or the Supreme Court could actually repeal or overturn it.    The recent DOJ opinion is not exactly good news though. 

 

 

 

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If the ACA is abruptly ended without a replacement, then millions would lose coverage no later than the end of whatever year the ACA was ended in.  Without protections for pre-existing condition exclusions, millions would be unable to buy new coverage.  And they would remember who was responsible when they went to the ballot box.  I would lose coverage if the ACA is repealed, because I don't have a steady permanent employer.  

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It’s not necessarily going away, as only congress or the Supreme Court could actually repeal or overturn it.    The recent DOJ opinion is not exactly good news though. 

 

 

 

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