Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Snares That Entrap The Already Disenfrachised

In the U.S., one would think having Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance is a wonderful thing; ah, but one would be mistaken.  Youth in the U.S. are covered by their parent's Blue Cross Blue Shield, if a parent has this type of insurance, through age 26.  The insurance always presses physicians for early release from medical treatment even when the doctor believes it is not in the person's best interest.

An additional calamity exists with this insurance when a young person is an adult and the co-pays have not been paid.  Medical bills often mount furthering complicating the life of a young adult. These medical bills are reported when delinquent to collect agencies and are posted on credit reports. Additionally, if a young adult lived on their own, but had a medical problem, which caused them to break a lease for an apartment, it is difficult to resolve the matter.

When a woman has been covered under Blue Cross Blue Shield, but goes through a divorce it is difficult to find a full-time position if she has always been a part-time employee.  A women often is forced to accept food stamps, medicaid and medicare.  It takes a long time to get back on your feet and especially if you have had any kind of medical condition such as mental illness to move forward.

Additionally, if you have resided in a group home and that home failed to properly provide your medical information such as a correct spelling of a name, one can also find medical bills that should have been covered, but are disputed by the serving medical party and the insurance company and guess who pays in more way than one, you got it, the client.  Oh, and yes, this too goes on your credit report.

So what does one do, I guess like I am, just keep plugging along and try to be diplomatic so that you can resolve the problems.  Maybe I am not meant to be rich, but at least you will know I always put my best foot forward.

For another perspective on problems in this country, read Mind the gap, from The Economist  You may need to copy and paste the site into your browser:  highlight the site, then press Ctrl C then press Ctrl V.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Navigating to a Better Life

The United States has a welfare system that is designed by its very nature to oppress those who attempt to improve themselves.  How does one navigate through the system to a better way of life? What is wrong with the design of the system as it stands currently?  Why is it ethically incorrect?  I will attempt to explore all these questions in this blog.

Department of Housing and Urban Development or Hud is wrought with problems by its very nature. Though the rent is based on 30% of the income, there is truly no incentive for an individual to maintain the property, unless it happens to be a part of one's disposition.  Incomes vary for individuals living in subsidized housing. Often Hud properties are fraught with individuals who have some form of illness, substance abuse or mental health issues.

If one has been in a group home, and moved to a Hud unit, often there is inadequate supervision to ensure the well being of the individual.  I have personally witnessed prescribed medications being dispensed throughout the apartment units from one resident to another resident, especially narcotics.

I am certain when President Reagan envisioned and presented the idea of opening up Senior low income housing to the disabled, his plan did not include the medication dilemma.  Sadly, helpful programs like Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon are not advertised or easily accessible to residents who would benefit from such programs. Veterans are struggling with addiction and their is not a program that is accessible for them either.

I would urge the Federal Government to make such substance abuse programs available within Hud housing or at least provide books that address the issues. Computer accessibility would improve the lives of those who were trying to advance themselves.  Sadly, however, I am discovering many individuals are unable to read.

I have a unique inside track because I live in one of these units.  I can relate one to one with those who are here.  I listen and try to understand the difficulties presented by the environment.  I am immensely grateful to have capitalized on the opportunities outside the unit such as being within walking distance of a Church where I was able to obtain training in adult tutoring acquiring a certificate and am close enough to a library to walk to it and volunteer there.

Additionally, I have recently made contact with the local paper and will be freelancing.  I am blessed to have a young resident who suffers with cerebral palsy assisting me with one of the articles I am working on.  My hope is to open this opportunity to others as my business hopefully prospers and grows.

I realize I have digressed a bit; however, I felt it was necessary to point out that there are opportunities, but sticking points are that some individuals remain in their rooms because they are not easily ambulatory and suffer from depression. Some are cognitively impaired, but again I believe with the proper support and providing a collaborative effort, these individuals could be direct contributors to the workforce.

So why am I talking about work, because, it has been repeated to me over and over again that work provides not only a source of income, but a sense of self-worth.  Often individuals in the American Society who suffer some sort of disability are made to feel they are second class citizens.  Try and live off of an allotment of $42.00 a month in cash for your outside expenses, which many individuals are forced to do because food stamps do not cover taxable items such as toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo or other such items.

The young man, I alluded to earlier in this blog, is very grounded in his belief system.  He is an inspiration to me.  He is not ambulatory, but he manages to navigate in a scooter.  He has suffered personal losses one after another, but again he remains steadfast in his faith.  We relate to one another because both of us had grandmothers who were important in our lives. Though he cannot easily hold a pen, he works diligently with me to express his opinions and ideas on the things we do together.

Another lady I work with is unable to hear well, but she is dedicated to learning. She wants to properly pronounce each word as she reads, and she feels self gratification by accomplishing each new word.

One student I may have temporarily lost to the gang world, but I hope one day we will have the opportunity to work together again to try and improve his situation. This young man suffers from dyslexia and finds it difficult to break apart from the gang life where he has found acceptance.

Many in my building have suffered unimaginably losses that many people would find it difficult to overcome.  I am pleased to have a roof over my head and be a part of something that is bigger than I. My hope is to improve the lives of others while improving my life as well.

One of the obstacles in the social security system is that individuals are actually penalized if they want to be married.  The system actually cuts benefits to individuals who are already making a nominal amount of money if they choose to marry.  Many choose to co-habitate while paying on two units at the reduced cost while management and caseworkers look the other way.  In essence, the units are fully occupied.

Additionally, many choose not to fight with the Department of Human Services when their food stamps are cut because the paperwork is so overwhelming and monies are wasted securing proper documentation for continued benefits.

Many individuals in the State of Michigan cannot afford a car because of the insurance rates for residing in the red-line zone, which pertains to a high crime rate. Cars are already horribly expensive without the additional costs. Transportation often comes down to the bus, which many employers don't want to learn someone is using as a method to get to work.

Bottom line, individuals with disabilities or of low-income need to have opportunities for improvement in their lives.  The young man I am working with on writing some articles speaks about how Christ chose to embrace the ill and the infirmed as a part of His teachings.  Many in America choose to isolate the ill and the infirmed.

Let all of us throughout the world unite for improvment in the attitudes,while changing the hearts and minds of individuals who fail to recognize each individual is a blessing that once born must be recognized for his or her worth because he or she represents life itself.