MENTAL HEALTH – MY THERAPIST HAS A GOLDEN HEART

My Therapist Has A Golden Heart – Mental Health
The Fourth House
by – Sheri de Grom

The headlines read, “Obamacare Should Help Those With Mental Health Issues Advocates Say.” The operative word in the previous proclamation is ‘SHOULD.’

I was enraged while watching a live interview of President Obama with Liza Zamosky

Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act

on March 16, 2014. During the interview he answered questions about the Affordable Care Act. I couldn’t (or didn’t want to believe it) when I heard the President of the United States say, “We choose what we think is best for you.”

How does the President or any other pencil pusher know what medical care is best for me. The administration has met their goal’ they’ve managed to socialize our health care.

Health Day, reporting news for healthier living, reports people with mental health issues are discovering ways that the legislation directly affects them.

Before I stop writing about this so-called landmark legislation, I’ll bring you proof wherein the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has closed the door of mental health care on millions of Americans that HAD MENTAL HEALTH CARE COVERAGE BEFORE OBAMACARE and now that coverage is gone.

Health Day reported on Oct. 15, 2013, that an estimated 32 million people will gain mental health or substance abuse disorder benefits, or both, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Obamacare likes to take the credit for writing parity into mental health legislation. They are treating it as if no one could have possibly thought of this idea before. How arrogant can one administration be with the lives of its citizens at stake?

Parity in mental health care was first written into law in the 80’s. I know this because my own federal insurance plan paid all medical claims at 80% and others at 100%. However, all of my husband’s mental health care claims were paid at 50%. I knew I had to find someone who not only I could help but someone who could help me.

Care for my husband was going to be in the millions and even more and I would never have the 50% I needed to cover our cost-share. Thus, my first adventure into writing a legislative proposal was born and my career took flight at the same time.

Fortunately, I was working at JAG at the time and had access to the latest legal information on the subject of case-law regarding all health issues, not just mental health. I searched the Federal Register (it’s the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies and I might add, it is boring to read. I suspect the reason so many administrative laws pass is the individuals assigned to comb through the Registers every day, simply don’t). I also had access to Westlaw (an online legal research dedicated to law). I wrote up a proposal and two weeks later was boarding a flight to D.C. to meet with the late Senator(s) Ted Kennedy and Paul Wellstone. I knew the two senators were my best bet for achieving my goal as they were both passionate about mental health law and ways to improve coverage.

The senators were a bit taken back by my insistence on the urgency of passing legislation regarding parity being written into mental health law but they were more than willing to assign staffers to help me refine the final bill and with their support, we gained approval for all federal and many Fortune 500 insurance plans to cover mental health at 100% or the same as all other illnesses.

I learned how degrading and ugly insurance company lobbyists were. Pharmacy and other health care lobbyists joined in the fight against legislation.

Today’s Affordable Care Act has written parity into the law so mental health coverage should be much easier to access. Again, ‘should’ is the operative word.

Andrew Sperling, director of legislation advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is somewhat circumspect about the changes and is in a waiting position to see how well what’s promised will actually deliver. NAMI

A specific problem NAMI has is a result of the Supreme Court decision, the Medicaid expansion is optional, and a large number of states are talking about not participating. Mr. Sperling continued, “Some of the benefits vary depending on where people live,” he explained, “people in some states won’t see the full benefits accorded by the law.”

Additional concerns expressed by providers regarding mental health coverage and the ACA include:

  • Providers are still required to obtain prior authorization for treatment sessions. This can result in endless paperwork and numerous telephone calls before authorization is received.
  • Evidence-based practice does have standard lengths of time for support. A patient may be in treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, and evidence may suggest that 12 weeks is the standard, and once someone is out of the extreme crisis, group treatment may be an option. [In later posts I’ll talk about my own experience with PTSD treatment and why 12 weeks wouldn’t have uncovered the surface and allowed me to work in a group).
  • Though some want no limits on the number of treatments available for someone with a mental health disorder, the law now mandates that all insurers offer a length of treatment that’s on par with what’s available for other health issues.

Access to mental health care is more difficult than ever to obtain. In a later blog I’ll talk about how mental health care has now become a cash-only business for more than 50% of all members of The American Psychiatric Association.

My therapist goes above and beyond in her insistence that she believes one day I’ll get everything sorted out. I’ve been billing Medicare myself as she is not a Medicare provider. I don’t want Medicare to pay her and they are not obligated to pay her. With each claim I submit and every time I call Medicare (minimum of once a week), I remind them that the only thing I want is for them to deny my claim with the proper code so that I then can submit the claim to my Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield who will then pay for her services. I’ll be blogging in-depth about this subject later). Blue Cross/Blue Shield will pay my claims if and when Medicare cooperates with my request(s). I’M REQUIRED TO BILL MEDICARE FIRST ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO PAY.

My next step is to ask my congressional representatives’ and other national mental health advocates to help me in my efforts to teach Medicare how to interrupt the existing law.

My therapist has never asked me for payment for her services. She has not been paid since 2012 when I turned 65. Before I turned 65, my mental health care claims were paid at 100%. Now that I’ve become a so-called senior citizen, I’m relegated to a citizen with no mental health care with the exception of having a mental health provider with a golden heart. She recognizes my tough woman persona and when it comes crashing down, she gently helps me to the other side.

           To be continued . . .   

 

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About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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48 Responses to MENTAL HEALTH – MY THERAPIST HAS A GOLDEN HEART

  1. Janice Heck says:

    Sheri, I admire your strength and determination. Fighting city hall is tough work. The red tape and paperwork are ridiculous. The insurance companies join in with Medicate. Medicare pays only at a highly reduced rate, and my secondary pays only a portion on top of that–no where near the health professionals charge. This health system is wacky and very hard to understand. Thanks for writing about it and fighting for better health care/insurance provision.

    • Janice, Thank you so much for stopping in and commenting about the mess our country is in regarding healthcare. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you with a reply. Tom and I have both been under the weather.
      It’s interesting to me to see that Medicare is allowing the full amount doctor’s billed toward our deductible yet just as soon as that deductible is met, they’ll go straight to the negotiated rate. This is definitely a double set of billing standards and no other health insurance in the United States can get away with it and Medicare shouldn’t either. It is criminally wrong.
      The other thing I’m noticing is that when a claim is submitted to Medicare at any other time of year, after the deductible has been met, it takes months for the claim to be adjudicated. However, while Medicare is in the honeymoon period of the individual being in the zone where they haven’t met the deductible, they adjudicate the claim within 2 weeks. My thought, if they can adjudicate a claim within 2 weeks when they don’t have to pay, then they can adjudicate a claim within 2 weeks when they do have to pay!

  2. jbw0123 says:

    So glad to see your friend Denise provided tips on how to bill Blue Cross Blue Shield without going through Medicare. Hope that works. Kudos to your therapist for continuing to care for you during this very bumpy ride.

    • Julia – Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I was so happy to see Denise’s suggestions and we’ve started the long and difficult process with Medicare declaring my therapist an ‘opted out provider.’ The frustrating issue is that she will still only be able to bill BC/BS the part Medicare would have paid if she were a provider. I keep asking, why does our government have to control our health care just because we turn 65? I don’t need or want Medicare and took every precaution I could think of to make sure Tom’s and my healthcare was covered.

  3. Lynn Garrett says:

    This is so scary. If the government has control of our health, they basically have control of our lives, and whether or not our lives continue, and in what state. I’m sure your golden-hearted therapist is not the only medical provider who feels shackled by the restraints binding them, making them unable to help the people they trained to help.

    • Lynn – I had no idea how much the government would control our health care until I turned 65. Suddenly I’ve reached ‘the tarnished years of my health care.’ I’ve learned some of how to work around the government but it requires researching and questioning every legislated administrative law action. Frankly, I believe congress must have agreed to Medicare because they knew they didn’t understand it and were tired of hearing about it from their constituents in 1965.

  4. likeitiz says:

    This is very disturbing news, Sheri. It’s difficult enough for people to grasp mental illness. There’s no obvious physical manifestation such as a lump, or a wound, nor is it measurable by standard laboratory testing or imaging devices. However, it is no less debilitating and disabling.

    • You are so right. I continue to hear from individuals that are suddenly without mental health care due to Medicare restrictions and the lack of parity built into Obamacare. Well over 50% of all psychiatrist in the United States are cash only at the present time and that number is expected to rise by 12% each year. Tom and I are both so fortunate in that we have mental health providers with hearts of gold.

  5. Denise Hisey says:

    Sheri, this topic really gets my hackles up. I do medical billing and have seen terrible ways insurance companies treat patients. I’m glad you are using your strengths and knowledge to keep pushing for improvements in the system (and for exposing the ACA).

    On a side note, if your therapist has officially ‘opted out’ of Medicare then you do not have to bill them prior to billing your BC/BS plan. Here’s what you need to do:
    1.Get a copy of the confirmation from Medicare showing she is opted out
    2.Send this to the provider relations dept at your BC/BS plan
    3.Submit your claims to BC/BS with a note in box 19 of the HCFA claim form saying ‘provider has opted out of Medicare.’ They are required to process claims without the use of denials from Medicare. It might take a few tries to get it set up in their system, but you should definitely NOT being subjected to submitting to Medicare if she’s opted out.

    • Denise – I was in hopes that you would chime in on this subject since you are in the midst of what’s going on. I’ve been physically ill and into a deep depression for the last several days because the further I dug, the more I discovered that no matter what I did, Medicare wasn’t going to pay or even re-adjudicate my claim.
      I’m going to do exactly what you’ve suggested. I received a letter from Medicare yesterday and it basically said, ‘We don’t have to do anything to help you and no matter what you do, you can’t do anything to make us.’ There arrogance never ceases to amaze me. Put all that on top of my seeing my therapist for ‘free’ yesterday, I came home feeling down and out. She’s reassured me time and time again that she’s not going to make a big deal out of the fact that she’s not getting paid but the part of me that’s always been able to help others and a leader wants to fall back into any old addiction.
      I hadn’t opened my blog today (and I don’t think I’ve missed many days of not opening to check and see what I needed to take care of, but my best friend called and said, “Go read what Denise wrote.” That’s all she said and we normally talk forever. Now I know why she wanted me to read your response. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. My therapist hasn’t been a Medicare provider since 2006 when she was under the umbrella of a medical school and hospital. Obviously they would have Medicare. She’s now a sole practitioner and I can’t blame her for not being a Medicare provider. When I see what my specialist have been reduced to accepting, it alarms me to no end. Thanks again. Sheri

      • Denise Hisey says:

        Sheri, I’m sad you are going through this difficult time -especially because Medicare is putting you through unnecessary agony.
        I thought more about your situation, and I realized I should have advised you to attach a copy of the opt-out letter along with your claim forms. This is added insurance BC/BS processes your claims without hassle. (Though it is still important to have the letter on file with Provider Relations too, for them to cross-reference.)
        Your plan will have ‘timely filing limits’ (usually one year) so you can send in all claims within whatever time frame that is. (ie: if it is one year, submit claims from April 2013 to your most recent appointment with the letter attached.)
        Feel free to email me if you have any other questions, I would be more than happy to help.

        • Denise – Thank you so much. When I read you previous e-mail, I can’t believe what a relief I immediately felt. I sent your comments to my therapist to alert her to the process and that we actually had hope. She reads my blog off and on and I suggested she read your words about what we could do to get BC/BS to pay. They’ve said they’ll pay at the 80% level. I also listed them in my e-mail. I know when she was last with Medicare, she was under the umbrella of a medical center. She’s never been a Medicare provider in private practice and I can’t say as I blame her.
          We discovered too late that we’d lost of all 2012 when Medicare sent a denial of all 2012 claims a year after we could have even filed with BC/BS. I plan to call my therapist on Monday about the urgency of getting the letter.
          I was falling deeper and deeper into a black hole because it seemed no matter what avenue I took, there was absolutely no hope for crawling out. Thanks so much for your help. And, yes indeed, we’ll be sending an e-mail if we don’t get results.
          I hope she will know how to go about getting the opt-out letter from Medicare. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sheri

  6. Bless your therapist. Truly. As for your other info….well said….and so much more could be said!!! I am, admittedly, scared for our future. Thank you for your informative and heart felt posts, Sheri. ♥

  7. This just proves what I’ve suspected all along. When healthcare becomes a political tool, treatment is a mixed bag for lobbyists. And let’s face it, mental illness isn’t a pretty subject to get behind. It doesn’t get the cute commercials and the surge of goodwill that maternity care does. And though I support proper medical attention during pregnancy, I also equally support the rights of that newborn for the rest of its life to be treated for whatever ails it, especially something as life-changing as mental illness. What good is one without the other??

  8. ksbeth says:

    wow, such a sad and powerful statement, sheri. your therapist is truly a gem of kindness and understanding. i wish this could all be sorted out for everyone, so each of us could have our basic need for medical and emotional care met.

  9. Jane Sadek says:

    She must not only have a good heart, she must be darned good. with your billing conundrum I might get violent!

    • Jane – She’s the best. There’s not really a way to get violent with Medicare claims examiners and their supervisors. They keep themselves locked away from everyone. On their website, they tell you how to complain to them about: your doctor, your pharmacist, durable medical goods, emergency personnel treatment, hospitals, nursing homes and a host of other providers. What they don’t tell you is where to send claims about THEM. It’s truly a maddening process, especially since I don’t need or want them anyway.

  10. You are an inspiration. After all the hard fight for so long, that you are still standing is a wonder to me. Why is it that the buck comes before good healthy care. That you share this with us cannot be easy to write either. 😉

  11. I will chime in with the other commenters and say this is all so disturbing and scary and THANK YOU SO MUCH for bringing it to the forefront, for working so tirelessly, and for being YOU, Sheri. I cannot believe mental health is looked at as a second or third or fourth class (bottom of the rung) illness. It’s almost as if mental problems are relegated to an amorphous position of “being all in your head” ! Ha! I mean that without humor. All those individuals fighting mental illness are making it all up, right? Who the hell ARE these people who don’t know anything about mental illness? A bunch of idiots, I guess.

    • Patti – I believe we have to first look at the culture surrounding mental illness. Generation after generation refused to admit such a thing even existed. Growing up, I’d hear comments like, ‘Not in our family,’ and ‘Well, you know, he’s never been right in the head.’ Members of our administration are from that generation that still think that way. Here’s a really sad but true story. The years I worked at Walter Reed Medical Center, a chief of psychiatry at another large medical center refused to allow his bipolar daughter to receive help through the military system as he was afraid it would damage his career. She ultimately committed suicide. This thinking existed not that long ago.
      When Fort Ord closed in 1994, I knew I had to be pro-active and find a promotion for myself to continue my federal BC/BS. They had the best mental health care benefits available and still do. Yes, they are the most expensive and I pay a much larger share now due to being retired, but, if Medicare would get out of my way, BC/BS would still pay at 100%. In 1993 when I accepted the promotion to DC, I had several offers that were really nice but I couldn’t take the chance because no one could insure Tom due to his pre-existing diagnosis.
      Before age 65, Tom and I never had to pay anything for medical care, other than our insurance premiums. Yes, the premiums were expensive but neither one of us are run of the mill patients.
      The current Affordable Care Act is extremely limiting in the mental health care it affords. People will die because they couldn’t get the care they needed.
      However, as care continues to be rationed with the Affordable Care Act and with new limits placed on many other limiting factors, many deadly diseases will be missed and by the time they are detected it’s going to be too late to do anything except plan a funeral.

  12. Sheri, when I was young and foolish, I believed that with enough effort and leverage, the average American could change the system. Now that I have seen another three decades of abuse, mismanagement and neglect … and please let’s not even talk about the corruption … I no longer believe in the system.

    I have been blessed with a Medical Group with a heart. Through the Holy Cross Hospital, I am given doctor and hospital services that I can pay at a pittance at a time. Everywhere else it’s cash and carry, cash up front, or they don’t accept Medicare at all.

    For sure the legislators that pass these programs do not become victims. They have separate retirement, health care and benefits that are staggering in the cost and expanse of what is given to our legislators. This group has abused and used our dollars for their own private benefit and for the benefit of crooked lobbyists.

    Thanks for never giving up the fight 🙂

    • Florence – I’ll never give up the fight. If I did, I’d die and I’m not ready to do that yet. My entire career I fought greed and corruption in the government and just because I retired, the fight goes on, just from a different direction. It may not make you feel any better, but the Dept. of Health and Human Services puts out a daily digest of the most important cases brought to justice. They report on health care fraud, contracting fraud and a host of other issues. If interested, you’ll find them at http://donotreply@subscriptions.hhs.gov. I always like to see what’s made the hot sheet.
      I’m truly glad you have the health care you need. Our coverage is basically 100% with the exception of mental health care and we’re fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of two of the most brilliant and loving mental health care providers we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. When you consider the massive amounts of medical care Tom and I both have had in the past couple of years, it really shows the continuing imbalance of how immorally Medicare is being administrated.
      I’ve just started reading a doctor out of Eugene, OR (and I used to get most of my medical care in Eugene when we lived in OR, although we lived in a smaller community) but had I known, we might still be living there. Anyway, her link is http://www.idealmedicalcare.org It’s written by Dr. Pamela Wible and she was just on Ted Talk. I’ll send you a separate link for that in an e-mail or maybe I’ll simply add the link to my next blog.

  13. Unbelievable!! As a Canadian, sometimes…key word, sometimes…we complain about medical services taking longer or in the case of mental health services, being spread very thin. BUT…we have services available to us without paperwork nightmares, without any billing whatsoever on our part. Psychologists charge. Psychiatrists don’t (though their main purpose seems to be medication related, rather than any type of therapy). However, the Canadian Mental Health Association does offer assistance in the form of social workers, group therapy sessions, etc. free of charge. A hospital stay is covered 100 percent. Nothing paid upfront or otherwise.
    In my opinion based on family experiences, our mental health care system is definitely lacking, but we do not have to deal with billing or coverage issues.
    Sheri, it is obvious that your government is clueless and personally unaffected by mental illness. You just have to wonder…if it was their mother, their brother, their child, their spouse…would they suddenly care?
    Very informative post.
    Take care…

    • So true. It’s interesting how something becomes all consuming when a tragedy comes home to stay with us. I don’t like using the word tragedy but in many cases, that’s exactly what mental illness turns into. Many families, out of pure frustration, turn on their family member and the mentally ill individual often ends up in the prison system as they have no where to go.
      I understand how you ‘sometimes’ appreciate your way of medical care over our way. My entire life I was taught that if you work hard and provide for your family (and that means buying adequate health insurance to cover family member needs whatever they are), then everything ‘should’ take care of itself.
      Tom and I both have major medical issues and our coverage to include all laboratories, hospitalizations, prescriptions, doctor office, anything to do with mental health, physical therapy, durable medical goods and the list goes on, was covered at 100%. Therefore, when I turned 65 and I was told I had to enroll in Medicare although I already had 100% coverage and was not going to cost my government one penny to take care of me, suddenly I no longer had access to mental health care with the exception of my therapist having a golden heart.
      You are so right about psychiatrist handing out pills. That’s the 15 min appointment and there’s certainly not enough time in 15 minutes to squeeze in therapy. Tom’s care all comes from a psychiatrist and it’s the most wonderful arrangement and I will dedicate a blog to it one of these days. We don’t pay him either and he sees Tom for a full hour and sometimes longer if he (the doc) feels Tom needs more time. In this case, he’s providing therapy along with monitoring Tom’s medications.

  14. gpcox says:

    I don’t know what to say to this, even after rereading it. I think it simply boils down to the government providing legislation for themselves and their lobbyists. The rights and needs of the ordinary “Joe” simply do not apply (unless he can get the politician re-elected that year).

    • G.P. – I saw some really interesting things when I worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Of course we always knew when a member of congress was ‘in-house’ or a member of their family. It didn’t matter what type of activity they were engaged in, my team and I had to be 100% hands off. What we did know was that a veteran could get 2 little purple pills per month and if you happened to be on the hill, well you had an endless supply. We also delivered many babies (in the Eisenhower Suite no less) with all the benefits that came with using the suite and it was funny, there was never any paper work and certainly no press to announce the joyous occasion.
      Excuse me while I go take a call from my senator. He wants my vote this year – – I don’t think it’s going to happen! He’s having a hard time understanding why I changed my party affiliation to independent.

      • gpcox says:

        Very good, Sheri. I’ve been meaning to change mine as well – just haven’t gotten around to it. I should before the next pres. election – the phone calls are obnoxious!

        • We have mid-terms and also wanted to switch to a mail-in vs. showing up in person. I hope the volunteer wives tackle organizing the vets and make sure who ever wants to vote has the opportunity to register in time as well as vote in whatever manner they elect. It’s crazy how so many issues pop in my mind from reading your blog. I’d never thought about how the veterans felt about voting because no one took the time to help them actually get through the process. It breaks my heart that these men and women gave so much and they ask for so little in return.

  15. Ms De Grom,
    Wow! First before I even respond… Your work and commitment to the Mental Health of the nation is so moving and this article should be sent to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and I bet you it will be published. The article should be pushed to the front of all those organizations who report and care about Mental Health issues facing so many and ObamaCare.
    I am so proud of you for your work with Sen. Kennedy and there should be a statue of you outside the Congressional Building in Washington DC. I am so sorry that you are going through hell trying to get the services that you earned and pay for. You sure do know this issue from the inside out. I do not know where you live but my brother is an insurance man/expert and sometimes your Medicare Company can make all the difference in coverage. There are 100’s of insurance companies and each has multiple policies and each policy covers different illnesses and services with different doctors. Most people will maybe have an insurance person who represents a single company and so you may have the best that particular company offers but surely not the best of all the insurance companies. Since my brother is independent he always can find coverage and savings otherwise not known by the insured. For instance I switched to Humana for 3 months to get my dentures and eye glasses and then will switch back to United HealthCare to get my choice of doctor. You see I have to play the game to get coverage I need. I know you worked for the government and maybe stuck with what you have but if not I know my brother will talk to you to make sure you are getting all that you can from the insurance puzzle??? I don’t think you live in Florida but my brother can make sure you are navigating and understand what is what and which is which….. Let me know.
    Finally, thank you so much for taking this on and letting the cat out of the bag…. If you are have these troubles then there are zillions just like you. That is why I said to forward your article to all the news agencies you can think of…… Broadcast and print both! You are such a woman and I love you….. Thanks again and let me know if you want my brother’s number…. claudy

    • Claudy – You are such a sweetheart and one of my biggest fans. I wouldn’t have Medicare at all if the government didn’t make me take it. Without Medicare, Tom and I have 100% full coverage for everything. The most important reason I stayed with the government for my entire career was to have access to the insurance we have. Sure, it’s expensive but no other insurance company will pay the amount they’ve paid in a year, let alone a lifetime. Last year alone, I cost BC/BS well over a hundred thousand and there’s no life time cap.
      We still have 100% coverage with the exception of Medicare standing in the way of mental health care. Thankfully Tom and I both have providers that care enough about us that they don’t let money get in the way of their providing care. You and I both know that doesn’t happen often in this day and age.
      Thank you so much for offering up your brother’s services. That’s so thoughtful of you. My best friend for ever and ever goes shopping for Medicare coverage every year and I’ll ask her if she’s interested in the phone number. She lives in Florida.

      • Please forward your fantastic blog on this to at least a few news organizations. I am sure they will love it. Shoot who knows…you may make a few bucks too…. You really should because it is so good… Thanks for all that you do.. When they knock you down you come up fighting! Wow!
        claudy

  16. We completely agree with M. Zane & what we’ve known all along since meeting you! And that is you are one hell of a strong woman Sheri who doesn’t hold back & who speaks her mind which is nothing but TRUTH! Have to say that this Obamacare scares the hell out of us!! And I think out of this entire post one word stood out & frightened us the most. The very same word that we find hidden behind other words that no one else seems to have the guts to just come out and say! And yet you did here. And that is: Socialize! There it is.
    Don’t beat around the bush with it, politicians. Just come on out & tell us what kind of weapon your holding before you brutalize us with your warped unbalanced policies! Unfortunately, I don’t see any sign of hope coming any time soon Sheri! As a matter of a fact, this giant dump of a mess will be so bad that even if we got in a politician that attempted to clean it up, the damage will be so great that it will take a significant amount of time before we normalize again & take on our former glory days & true American values & what this great country was built on. Lord help us all!! 😉 Great post & must read, sharing this now! 😉

    • Thank you for hitting the head on the nail – it is indeed all about SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Those who study the economics of medicine know that the price tag on medicine has been blown out of proportion and the middle ‘straw man’ is reaping the rewards. In the 60’s Medicare was a great idea and the medical care was controlled by doctors in the form of deciding what was best for their individual patients. Unfortunately, that is no longer the standard offered with any medical specialty today. As I mentioned to Patti above, many of us, because we are forced into Medicare, will receive substandard care due to our physicians now being required to follow certain formulas. Fewer tests will be ordered to rule out potential life threatening diseases. We’re going to see less physical therapy when it’s ordered for a patient to gain or regain their balance – leading to more falls for the elderly and other tragedies we don’t know about yet.
      I have to agree with you, our country is out of hand and I’m afraid my father’s prediction will come true. He told me 20 or more years ago that we’d eventually end up in our own civil war and we wouldn’t know who our enemies were. It might be our neighbor or it might be the people across town. We wouldn’t be able to trust anyone. I so hope we can somehow get back on track before something like that happens.

  17. Another strong and compelling post, Sheri. I continue to find myself absorbed in your gut-wrenching tale. As long as they are, they are never enough to satisfy my curiosity. I can’t wait to find out more. Thank you for sharing this.
    Your therapist is quite a blessing certainly, but you have taken the bull by the (I should use the ciche, horns, here) short hairs. Gutsy and the kind of citizens every country needs more of. Take care. Michael

    • Hello Michael – I always have to take a day or two before I comment on those of you kind enough to stop in and read with me as well as comment. I get so fired up, I have to calm down before my keyboard explodes. You are so right, I don’t know how to write short. When I first draft a blog, I usually end up with 25 pages or so. Yep, I go on and on. Then I have to start cutting out everything that doesn’t belong. I used to post twice a week but discovered with a subject that I care so much about and that I live with everyday, once a week is about all I can handle and gives my fantastic and loyal readers an opportunity to read me whenever they have time.
      And I do so appreciate your loyal following. Your poetry continues to sooth my weary soul and I often save a few and share them with Tom. He agrees, you have an awesome talent.

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