Posts Tagged ‘Health care reforms’

Insane Asylum

Insane Asylum

For almost three years now, I  have been forced by Support Magistrate Grey’s money judgment orders to pay for my daughters’ un-reimbursed medical expenses that could be covered by my health insurance, if only my ex-wife were to ask the provider of services to fill out the proper insurance forms. Support Magistrate Grey is currently inventing a new right for custodial mothers: the right to choose to deny insurance coverage and have insured fathers pick up the tab as a consequence.  Even insurance companies, which are rather inventive in their efforts to block any reforms of the health insurance system, have not thought of that one.

On December 19 2008, I objected for the second time to Support Magistrate Grey’s money judgment order to pay  $2,170  in unreimbursed medical expenses and $1,125 for my ex-wife lawyer fees. Among others, I wanted to hear the legal foundations of such a ruling. Folks, these foundations are as thin as the best cigarette paper on the market.

On March 16, 2009, Family  Court Judge Jody Adams answered my objection. The start is rather not promising and will give the tone to the rest: “the Family Court Judge ‘s review is a narrow one. It is the Support Magistrate  (’empowered by Family Court Act  439 (a) to hear, determine and grant any relief within the powers of the court’) and not the reviewing judge, who was present at the evidentiary hearing and who was, therefore, uniquely able to evaluate both the evidence an the credibility and the demeanor of the witnesses bla… bla …bla….” Translation: Support Magistrate Grey is one of us, and she is bestowed with the power of the court, says the court.  How dare you, criminal, question the powers of  S.M. Grey who renders justice behind closed doors, without jurors and witnesses, and who is uniquely able to make sense of an audio tape, sole trace of what is going on in her court?

Then, moving to the core of the matter: Having an insurance that covers these medical expenses is no basis for objection. What is then? Moreover, goes on Judge Adams, there are no documents in the court record regarding the aforementioned health insurance policy. Well-done: my case has dragged in this court for years, my file must occupy a decent amount of space in the record office, and Manhattan family court has managed to  loose  a nth- times- provided key piece of evidence. Finally, about my ex-wife -lawyer fees: in her infinite wisdom, the Magistrate has the right to order the respondent to pay counsel fees upon the finding that the failure to pay was willful. And, incidentally, the Magistrate incites vindictive custodial mothers and their lawyers to keep soliciting Her Highness.

Manhattan Family court, as other family courts, is supposed to protect families.We non-custodial fathers, know that this mission is NOT accomplished. One thing is sure tough: Manhattan family court is a big family.

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A week ago, like many other New York State employees, I received a letter from the Department of Civil Service stating that it has

Bureaucracy (josephbau.org)

Bureaucracy (josephbau.org)

 contracted BUDCO Health Service Solutions to administer the Dependent Eligibility Verification Project. Translation: there is going to be blood. BUDCO – whose clients includes Fortune 500 companies- will come up with sophisticated technicalities to slash a bunch of dependents of New York State employees from the list of eligible New York State Health Insurance Program beneficiaries.Of course, the Department of Civil Service letter does not tell the reader what BUDCO’s fee is. One can surmise from all of this is that in New York State, the much-needed reforms in health care system will not head in the expected directions.

I have one tip for BUDCO: take inspiration on biased family courts rulings. For instance, my daughters are eligible dependent, who are denied coverage because sicko ex-wife makes a point of not using my insurance. Manhattan family court affixes the stamp of the”law” on this denial of coverage by having me pay for these  “un-reimbursed medical expenses”. That’s one way for NYSHIP to explore: eligible dependents shall be custodial parent dependents only.

Seriously, there are better solutions for health care coverage in general,  which I presume, Budco is not promoting.  Single-payer systems for instance. In a single-payer system, what matters is care, not the caretaker: a waco like my ex-wife could not “choose” not to use my insurance because she has one (with less coverage): there is only one payer and hence  one insurance for everybody. Cost of care: down, because the government put ceilings on physicians fees and medication prices. Management costs: down. A big bureaucracy is more efficient that many small ones, public or private. Customer service: better. Employees of private health insurance companies have one thing at heart: maximize the profits of  the company they work for and deny your claim. Employees in big public agencies are not necessary caring and nice. But at least, they don’t care whether you are reimbursed or not.

As President Obama said, as far as health care is concerned, change cannot wait. Let’s hope it does not wait too long.

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