What to do if your ACA health insurance is illegally terminated

If your insurance company terminates your insurance, claiming you missed a once a year ten-day “grace period”  for payment, go to this site and make an immediate on-line consumer complaint.   The complaint at this agency restored my illegally terminated health care in two business days.   The New York State Department of Financial Services (yeah, I know) now, finally, does the consumer protections functions of the abolished (in 2011) Department of Insurance.  The NYSDFS does what the Attorney General cannot do.  (I know…)

Here are the numbers of two offices in New York City that were enormously helpful while I was trying to have the illegal decision terminating my insurance overturned:

For immediate support, and solid advice during this illegal termination, contact the New York City Human Resources Administration, Department of Health, Public Engagement Unit (212-331-6266  M-Th  9am-8pm  Fri til 6:30).   Alexa at this office urged me to file the NYS Department of Financial Services’s on-line consumer complaint form.  She also assured me, 100%, that the unappealable corporate decision to terminate my insurance without notice would be reversed, which it was.  Bless her.

In addition to excellent and knowledgable support they will direct you to New York City’s new  program, NYC Care.  It  provides an extensive safety net for low-income individuals who lose access to affordable health care.   This wonderful pilot program can save a lot of lives, because it provides for low cost doctor visits long before a too late, ER diagnosis of a fatal stage of a once treatable disease.  This compassionate, life-saving program should be well-known by all New Yorkers and well-publicized until it is.   

NYC Care has a helpline at 646-NYC-CARE (692-2273).  The program is only active in the Bronx, so far, but if you go to any public hospital (Bellvue, Harlem Hospital, Jacobi, Lincoln, Montefiore and others)  you can enroll, at the Financial Planning or Business Office of that hospital, in the low-cost, pay-as-you-go “Options Program”.   


License to Lawlessness

Spoiler:  [ Here is the on-line consumer complaint form, that quickly solved the problem described below.  I have to figure out how to publicize it.}

With the largely incoherent “arguments” about why Abuse of Power is no vice and justifying absolute presidential immunity for obstructing multiple corruption investigations droning on in the foreground of American democracy — let’s examine what happens to the average citizen when the law that protects their health care can be routinely violated without consequences.

In New York State, patients who get their health care through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”) can, on the eleventh day of January every year, have the health insurance they’ve lawfully reenrolled in canceled at the whim of the private health insurance company they pay for coverage.   I learned this sobering fact when it happened to me on January 22 of this year when I called to pay my premiums through June, as I had done every six months for the last few years.    

The reason given for abruptly canceling the policy I’d renewed on December 6 was that I’d missed the ten-day “grace period” for paying the first month’s premium for a new policy.   My arguments that I’d received no notice of any “grace period”, that it was the same policy I’d had for two or three years, same ID number, same ID card, same premium, fell on deaf ears.

The Healthfirst supervisor, Daya (like the vegan cheese), told me, with great certainty, that Healthfirst was following the “guidelines” and that I’d have to quickly reapply at the New York State of Health Marketplace if I wanted coverage starting March 1.  She informed me there was no requirement that health insurance companies give customers any notice of this ten day “grace period” and that the only appeal was an internal one.   She said she’d refer my “case” to “financial” and get back to me.  She told me I’d be responsible for paying the full price of the expensive, on-going heart-related procedure I’d had on January 8th, mistakenly believing I was still insured.    

In her long experience at Healthfirst, she told me, she’d never known “financial” to overturn a valid termination.  True to her word, I had a cheerful voicemail from her the following day and when I returned the call was informed by a representative that the termination was, unfortunately, final, irrevocable and non-appealable.   

Until two business days later when the company called to apologize for their “mistake”.  They took my payment over the phone, right before January ended, apologizing as much as I demanded.  I pummeled that poor woman, bullied her into admitting she empathized, would be equally outraged if she suddenly and without any warning found herself in my position.  My friends sent me congratulations for my tenacity, my legal skills, for prevailing in a high stakes fight nobody should have to fight just to have the basic right to health care granted to all citizens of every other wealthy nation.  I am as angry now as I was when they cancelled my insurance.  Here is why:

While one of the innovations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was making it much harder for insurance companies to cancel policies for late payments without notice (an industry-wide practice as widespread and previously legal as non-coverage for “pre-existing conditions”), the first ten days of every  new year apparently offer an annual exemption to this rule allowing health insurance companies to cancel policies without warning.   That might be the law, or it might not be the law.  It’s up to the individual affected by termination for not paying in the “grace period” to try to find out what the law actually is and if any official in their state can help them determine the legality of what has just been done to deprive them of affordable health care.  Oh, and if there’s an available legal remedy if the action taken against them was illegal under the ACA.

An internet search took me to the only public agency that handles health care related consumer complaints.    The Better Business Bureau will help consumers with virtually every business-related conflict, excluding anything to do with health insurance.  The New York City Public Advocate does not get involved with consumers as individuals, only matters of “public policy”.   The state entity that has the monopoly on selling ACA plans, the “New York State of Health Marketplace” (NYSOH)  has no mechanism, outside of a three to four month quasi-judicial appeals process, to help health care consumers correct even NYSOH’s own errors that deprive them of health insurance or payment subsidies.  NYSOH also does not inform us of our basic legal rights as patients protected by the embattled Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [2].  

The job of helping all of the many New York State health care “consumers” (otherwise known as “patients”) who experience problems with their health insurance falls to the small Health Care Bureau, a desk at the New York State Attorney General’s office, a hotline staffed by one or two decent, well-meaning, overwhelmed and powerless people who are very, very busy.

I contacted the Health Care Bureau and spoke to an extremely sympathetic and harried woman who lamented that there was little they could do for me, except to reach out to the company with a complaint and hope the corporation would change its mind.  I got an email telling me my transcribed complaint had been submitted [3].  The complaint, which stated my dictated complaint verbatim, looked very official, here is what is at the top of the copy they sent me:

Screen shot 2020-02-03 at 3.33.54 PM.png

The next day the extremely kind woman from the Health Care Bureau reached out to let me know that, sadly, Healthfirst  got back to her to say, in essence, “tough noogies.”  She greatly empathized when she called to give me the bad news, told me she wished there was more she could do and advised me that I’d better get busy re-applying to NYSOH for health insurance if it wanted coverage again on March 1.

I called a non-profit advocate for the poor and elderly where a lawyer had helped me in the past, though even that excellent lawyer’s powers were extremely limited when it came to overcoming the refusal of a private health insurance corporation to comply with the law.   They researched my complaint and called me back to inform me that I’d better reapply if I wanted to be insured again on March 1, since there was probably nothing anyone could do.  In a voicemail they regretted they could not be of more help to me and made a reference to the Department of Financial Services consumer help forms.

I spent many more hours on the internet and on the phone, spoke to many more people at several New York City offices [1].  Eventually I found one who told me to file the consumer complaint form I’d already found at the New York State Department of Financial Services.  I’d found a link to this form during my second full day of research but had been skeptical, due to past experience with that agency. The great woman I spoke to at the NYC agency, Alexa, told me confidently that the insurance company would be forced to reverse its decision as a result of this complaint.  I wrote the complaint, filed it on-line and two business days later, Alexa’s prediction came true.  

There is a short explanation for why the corporation changed its unappealable decision: it had violated the law by canceling my health insurance, without notice or warning.   The government’s enforcement of its laws is the only thing that can force an unscrupulous person (or “person”)  to behave ethically, or at least comply with the law.   Without public enforcement, a law is as empty as the words of the lawyer for a vicious criminal arguing that since his client truly believed he was doing nothing wrong it was legally impossible that he’d committed the crime the jury had seen the videotape of him committing.   No intent, no crime, no harm, no foul!

The explanation for why the Department of Financial Services was the place to find and file a new, highly effective, amazingly fast-acting on-line consumer complaint against a health insurance company is a little longer.   When New York State became one of the first states to adopt the ACA, it abolished the Commissioner of Insurance position as well as the state’s Department of Insurance.   All of the functions of that oversight agency were merged into a new agency that also oversees banking and finances in New York State.   This was a full three years after the calamitous fallout from the financial industry’s massive fraud came close to causing a world economic collapse.   What could go wrong?  

The last time I had problems with my health insurance, at some point between my two “successful” several month appeal processes at the New York State of Health Marketplace to overturn errors they had made, I contacted the Department of Financial Services.  At the time, their fraud investigators, one of whom I managed to track down and eventually spoke with for a long time, only had the ability to investigate insurance fraud claims lodged by insurance companies against customers.  There was no consumer help available, though they helpfully referred me to the same 800 number that had begun my twenty hours or so in the useless administrative cul du sac I’d described in a long letter to the Attorney General’s office.

This time I was screwed by a corporation and, amazingly, managed to get quickly unscrewed.  Why am I still angry?  A character flaw, I suppose, I can’t help thinking of countless neighbors of mine, for whom English is a second language, who have no hope of finding this well-hidden, highly effective new remedy for the ILLEGAL practice of terminating affordable health care without notice or warning of any kind.  I think of anyone who does not have my particular skill set and perversity, anyone who has not been a lawyer, trying to navigate the impossibly rough waters of not being illegally thrown off an insurance policy.  

WHY DOES NOBODY (outside of a very cool NYC worker named Alexa) IN ANY OFFICE DEDICATED TO HELPING CITIZENS WITH HEALTH CARE KNOW ABOUT THE SECRET NEW 100% EFFECTIVE CURE for this particular corporate abuse?  Why is the public, particularly its most vulnerable members, not publicly and effectively informed of it?  Why is there no requirement that we be informed of how the law to protect patients actually protects patients?

As for the amazing quickness of the legal relief I got (two business days!), I can only conclude that out of the many hundreds or thousands around the state similarly screwed, I must have been one of very few, perhaps the only one, who filed a complaint with the Department of Financial Services on their new secret on-line form.  I can’t think of how else my vexing problem could have been solved so quickly.    Here is the NYSDFS consumer complaint form, by the way.

Abuse is not a crime, unless the law specifically makes it a crime.  If the law doesn’t specifically say you can’t abuse, it’s perfectly legal to do whatever you want, “abusive” or otherwise (within other legal limits) to anybody,.   If there is a law against a certain kind of abuse, but there is no enforcement available for those abused and no penalty to the abuser, well, that speaks for itself.  It says “I know you are, but what am I?!!”   In that case, effectively, even though a practice is actually against the law, in reality there is no law.  If there is no law, you have the democratic government you vulnerable, helpless, pitiful chumps deserve, losers!  It’s up to us all to … oh, never mind… there must be a good reality show we can all watch to calm down…



[1]   I learned from a great and knowledgeable woman at the New York City Human Resources Administration, Department of Health, Public Engagement Unit (212-331-6266  M-Th  9am-8pm  Fri til 6:30)  that New York City has a new program, NYC Care, that provides an extensive safety net for low-income individuals who lose access to affordable health care.  

This wonderful pilot program can save a lot of lives, because it provides for low cost doctor visits.  It should be well-known and well-publicized until it is.   NYC Care has a helpline at 646-NYC-CARE (692-2273).  The program is only active in the Bronx, so far, but if you go to any public hospital (Bellvue, Harlem Hospital, Jacobi, Lincoln, Montefiore)  you can enroll, at the Financial Planning or Business Office, in the low-cost, pay-as-you-go “options program”.   I will also post this as a separate piece, a public service announcement.

[2]  The inept public agency that has the state monopoly on providing ACA health plans is run by an unaccountable political appointee, Donna Frescatore, who does not allow consumers to contact her, nor does she allow NYSOH reps to divulge her identity to consumers.   Both of my appeals against NYSOH were necessitated by errors made by NYSOH reps that could only be corrected by winning a quasi-judicial appeal months later.   As a result of her excellent stewardship of NYSOH Frescatore has been promoted to Deputy Director of Medicaid in the State.   She must have EXCELLENT people skills.

[3] their email reads, with all the hallmarks of officialdom:

Thank you for submitting your complaint to the Health Care Bureau. Attached please find a copy for your records. Your assistance is vital to our efforts to serve the people of the State of New York.

The Attorney General takes seriously the legal issues of all New Yorkers, and every complaint to this office is carefully considered. Please be assured that we will thoroughly evaluate each of the issues you have raised, and determine if we, or any bureau within our office, can provide assistance. We may also share your submission with other local, state, or federal agencies, as appropriate.

We will contact you if we require any additional information. Please do not submit follow-up inquiries through the complaint form, which is for new submissions only. If contacting our office regarding this submission, please refer to Intake #1-129605382. Inquiries may be made by phone at (800) 771-7755, or by email.

Advice for Screwed NYS health care consumers

There is a new consumer complaint process for victims of unappealable health insurance company “mistakes” in NYS that is easy, fast and efficient.  It can reverse unappealable termination of your health insurance within two business days.   Here is a link to that on-line complaint form that virtually nobody in New York State knows about:  CONSUMER COMPLAINT.

The only readily available help for someone in NYS who buys insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  (which can only be purchased at the ineptly run New York State of Health Marketplace) and looks on-line for help is the NYS Attorney General’s Consumer Health Bureau.   I reached out to them when I had my health insurance abruptly terminated without notice last week.  The woman I spoke to was very kind.   She sadly got back to me to a couple of days later to tell me that the company that had screwed me had responded to their query and had not changed its mind.

New York State’s Commissioner of Insurance position was abolished in 2011 along with the Department of Insurance.   The regulation of insurance companies in New York State was assumed by the newly reorganized Department of Financial Services which also oversees banking, finance and commerce.  Makes sense, no?  As of a few years ago this agency had no ability to help consumer victims of insurance company fraud or abuse.  It only took complaints against consumers who the insurance companies accused of fraud.  Makes sense.

When the Attorney General’s consumer health bureau gave me the sad news that there was nothing further I could do to get my insurance for 2020 back, until March 1, at the earliest, if I acted quickly, I continued my online research and round of phone calls.  I eventually found a new online consumer complaint form at the NYSDFS website.   That form is here:  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/complaint.

Within two business days I had a call from the insurance company, Healthfirst, informing me that my insurance was in full force and effect.  They apologized for their “mistake” and acknowledged that the DFS complaint had caused them to “escalate” the appeal process they’d previously told me didn’t exist.  Cool, now I can reschedule the appointment for ongoing treatments with the cardiologist that I had to cancel for today.

I emailed to let the kind woman at the AG’s office know that, after only a week of indescribable stress and aggravation, my complaint had been quickly resolved by the DFS complaint process.   She wrote back to tell me she was happy for me and asked if I wouldn’t mind helping a consumer who’d been screwed as I had been, could she give the distraught woman my email address?  I opted to write to the screwed citizen instead.   Here is what I advised her (and anyone else in NYS sodomized by an unaccountable, constantly feeding artificial “person” of eternal life):

I was given your email address by the overwhelmed woman at the AG’s help desk, who asked if I’d be willing to help you.   I am a private citizen who was recently screwed by my health insurance company.   Not sure why the woman at the AG’s help desk couldn’t help you, and I’ll be writing to the assistant AG in charge of the sympathetic but unhelpful help desk (will not mention any names, the woman I spoke to was perfectly nice and really tried to help), but here is my advice.
I can’t go into the details of how you were screwed, believe me I know how many ways the virtually unregulated private insurance companies — and the accursed NY State of Health “Marketplace” — have to screw us.    I’m sure thousands are similarly abused.   Here are my recommendations:
1) contact the NYS Department of Financial Services today.  They are the agency that oversees health insurance in NY State.   Their NYC phone number is 212-331-6266 * (I don’t know what county you live in).  They are open til 8 pm today.   Wherever you live:  Go to their website https://www.dfs.ny.gov/complaint and submit your complaint today.  You can do it on-line.  
If your complaint is complicated, write it out before you work on the on-line form, since you have only 30 minutes to complete the complaint once you start.  Cut and paste the complaint you’ve already written, if you think it will take a long time to put your concerns in order.
Keep it brief and to the point.  I was cut off health insurance for 2020 without notice when I called to pay my premium last week.  The AG’s Health Bureau Help Desk called Healthfirst and was told my termination was done properly and in compliance with the “guidelines” and that nothing more could be done.   Within 2 business days of filing my complaint at NYSDFS I had my insurance restored, Healthfirst told me it had been a “mistake” and they were sorry.   I’m sure they were very sorry… corporations always say they are, when they are caught and there is no consequence to them for apologizing.
2) If the NYSOH Marketplace screwed you (as they have screwed me twice in the last few years) file a formal appeal over the phone (this cumbersome process will take about 3-4 months for a determination that will likely be in your favor).  I’d recommend also writing directly to the unaccountable political appointee who runs it.  Include a copy of your NYSDFS complaint.    Here is her contact information (as best I can determine it, she keeps a very low profile):
Donna Frescatore
Executive Director, New York State of Health Marketplace
New York State Department of Health
Coming Tower
Empire State Plaza
Albany NY 12237
I subsequently learned that Ms. Frescatore, the incompetent political appointee who ran NYSOH so badly for years has since been promoted to a grander title and office, as of January 2019.  I’m told by people at the AG’s office that she is also still Executive Director of the NYSOH, a highly secretive post.  Here is her new title and address:  
Donna Frescatore 
Deputy Commissioner and Medicaid Director 
New York State Department of Health 
One Commerce Plaza 
Albany, NY 12110
and this (though you’ll likely find it completely useless)  https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/doh800.htm
We are victimized in a state with virtually no protections for health care “consumers” who are screwed.  Log on to the NYSDFS website and file an on-line complaint, that’s your best first stop, and hopefully your last.  
Best of luck to you, be direct, give ’em hell, and don’t take this abuse lying down!  Many of us are similarly screwed, take courage from the new help now available at the Department of Financial Services.
* This is actually the telephone number for the New York City Human Resources Administration, Public Engagement Unit.   I’m told the NYSDFS 800 number is as useless as it was the last time I entered their administrative cul du sac several years ago.

Come on now


Is this really where we’re at as a culture?   We can all applaud Fidelis Care for its worthy aspiration — that no child in our wealthy nation die a preventable death for lack of health insurance coverage [1] — but, seriously, is this something we as a people really need to have a nuanced discussion about? [2]

We are living in a culture where extreme cruelty to children who look like the kid pictured in this poster is a mere instrument of policy, yawned at, because, you know… what the fuck.  Poor kids die by the millions every day, everywhere, what’s a few more?   Seriously– who among us has not inadvertently murdered some little kid somewhere?   Let he who is without sin cast the first stone at our well-born masters who decide who shall live well and who shall die miserably and unnecessarily, as it is said in the private clubs where these fabulous luxury-loving job creating philanthropists congregate when the unfortunate subject of the stinking poor comes up: why don’t they just go fuck themselves? 


[1] And note that it is lack of access to insurance coverage (which allows a lucrative private intermediary to negotiate health care prices with “providers”), not lack of access to affordable health care service itself, that deprives millions of kids of the same chance for a healthy life that that every brat in the poor child’s well-born cohort enjoys as a matter of course.

[2]  While the “well-born” Donald Trump bellows about stupid black bitches who hate our country and wolf-whistles to his enraged base, his party continues to attack hated Obamacare, the rightwing think tank health insurance plan once known, in Massachusetts where it was first implemented, as Romneycare.   The lying demagogue has no plan whatsoever to replace it because, heh, if you’re dumb enough to believe anything I say you deserve what you get, losers.    Here’s an article about the Republican party’s latest attempt to have the Affordable Care Act declared “unconstitutional” by the Federalist Society’s best minds on the federal bench.

Here’s a terrible section of that piece by Paul Waldman:

Let’s go over the relevant history, just so we’re clear:
  • Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurers could deny anyone coverage or charge them exorbitant premiums if they had a preexisting condition. The ACA outlaws that practice, creating the protections for the first time. Every Republican in both the Senate and the House votes no.

  • Republicans spend the Obama years filing lawsuits to get the entire law struck down and holding congressional votes to repeal it, which if successful would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions.

  • Republicans take control of the entire federal government in 2017 and realize they had promised repeal but hadn’t bothered to come up with a replacement. They hastily assemble a bill, including ending protections for pre-existing conditions. The overall effort fails when John McCain opposes it at the last minute.

  • Attorneys general and governors from 20 Republican-led states file a lawsuit to strike down the ACA. One attorney general who spearheaded it, Josh Hawley of Missouri, runs ads in his successful Senate bid touting his commitment to pre-existing conditions protections, the very ones was attempting to destroy.

  • Even conservative legal scholars who opposed the ACA argue that the lawsuit is ridiculous.

  • The lawsuit is filed in Texas so that it will be heard by Judge Reed O’Connor, an unusually partisan Republican. He rules that the whole ACA must be wiped out, thereby eliminating those protections.

  • The Trump administration signs on in support of the lawsuit, asking the appeals court to strike down the ACA and its protections for pre-existing conditions.


fueled by partisan outrage

It’s worth taking a closer look at what the pathetic porcine puppet said during his forty minute spin session on national TV before he released the redacted Mueller report on the investigation into Trump’s alleged misconduct.  Let’s take this part of his long statement apart, it’s rich in inventive detail.

ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR: In assessing the president’s actions discussed in the report, it is important to bear in mind the context. President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability.

Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the special counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks.   Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims.

President Trump faced an unprecedented situation, Mr. Barr points out sympathetically.  Just because Mr. Trump was constantly sending out angry tweets that made him look guilty, changing his story constantly, repeatedly lying, raging, acting like a guilty man, he was unfairly attacked by his enemies.

Fair enough.

Also, there was this vicious inquiry into his associates, very few of whom were actually indicted and convicted of serious crimes.  These crimes, outside of the financial ones, were crimes of loyalty to the president, in the cases where only a small handful of his closest former associates lied to Congress and the FBI.   Can you really even call lying out of loyalty a  crime?   Just because some of his closest advisors are heading to prison, and others cooperated with the investigation in exchange for staying out of prison, is no reason to believe there is anything dirty or unethical about the president himself.

There was no collusion.  Fair enough.  Mr. Trump’s personal style is chaos, he is not a collaborative leader, he does not listen to advisors or work well with others.  His mother once noted with a chuckle that little Donald never played well with other kids, he always played to win, even in the playroom, even against his baby brother.

Here is my favorite part, a completely meaningless piece of lawyerly bullshit:

And as the special counsel’s report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks.

OK, Mueller provided ample evidence (much of it seen in real time by every American not turning away in horror from all media coverage of this unique president) that Mr. Trump was sincerely frustrated and angry.   Now we know, informed by Mr. Barr, that Trump’s belief was sincere that they couldn’t lay a finger on him because he was innocent, innocent, innocent!  

So his anger was righteous anger, according to Barr, similar to Boof Kavanaugh’s righteous, perfectly understandable rip-snorting, tearful temper tantrum when confronted with  credible testimony describing how he, while a blackout drunk in an elite Catholic prep school, had traumatized at least one teenaged girl while he was in a drunken state.    That allegation was thoroughly investigated in five days by the FBI and, naturally, no corroboration of the woman’s story was found among the small handful of people interviewed by the FBI.   Nothing to see there, unless you are fueled by pent-up rage over being a loser!

Since the president sincerely knew the  Mueller investigation was totally unfair, a witch hunt, knew that he was totally blameless, perhaps the most blameless president in history, he was absolutely right and morally entitled to be frustrated and angry, according to Barr who says that Mueller “acknowledged” all this.  

What?   Get the fuck out of here.

Mueller was, according to Barr, working for the president’s political opponents, even though Mueller belongs to the same political party as the president and the president’s party was in power when Mueller was appointed– and they oversaw his investigation.

I guess Barr’s point was that since Trump sincerely believed he was completely innocent he would have had to have been Jesus Christ himself not to react in frustration and rage, on a several times a day basis, at all the speculation in the press about how guiltily he was acting.   How would YOU feel if YOU were totally innocent and subjected to that kind of vicious, partisan witch hunt?  And the media would not shut up about it!!!  Wouldn’t you instruct your people to shut that shit down, if you had the power to ?!!! Sure you would.

Last bit of great shit from the pathetic, porcine puppet:

Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims.

This statement is what used to be called a lie, since it asserts things that are not, strictly speaking, true.  The White House merely refused to answer follow-up written questions from the Mueller team, after the president’s lawyers submitted incomplete written answers (that Trump claimed, ludicrously, to have “written” himself)  the first time.   The White House legal team (of which Barr is now, unaccountably, a member) made it clear that they would not let Trump, a habitual, reflexive,well-documented liar, walk into a “perjury trap” by talking to Mueller (taking the lesson of what happened to perjurer slick Willie Clinton, a much more sophisticated, articulate man– and a trained lawyer–  than the smartest president in human history, the man we have now).  The access was fettered, to say the least.

Meanwhile, the president was continually ordering subordinates to bend or break the law, to stifle the investigation and create the public perception that Mueller had absolutely no grounds to pursue his partisan inquiry into a president who, among other suspicious official acts, innocently met with Vladimir Putin twice, alone, with only a translator, and ordered the American translator to destroy his notes of the meeting he translated.  Nothing to fucking see here!

That’s what the pathetic porcine puppet would call full transparency.  The president was sincere in his belief that he could get away with it.   And he did!   Proving, as always, that Mr. Trump’s sincere belief is the best measure of everything in his world, a world the rest of us just live in.

L’histoire de ma vie, part 72

A few times a year I get a comment from a friend on something I write and post here.   These comments, though always welcome, often strike me as mixed blessings, like this recent email: 

Very good. Worthy of publication. You should submit to New Yorker or Onion or …..

I wrote to tell her I was glad she liked it.   I realized her enjoyment of my understatement probably depended on  knowing every hideous detail of my recent hassle with multiple corporate psychopaths (redundant, I know.)  I added that to make the little letter fit for publication it probably needed a little background, a frame like: 

The author of this response to his own letter to the CEO of medical insurance company Healthfirst recently received a replacement drug four times the strength of his current dose.   This new drug was sent to him in error by Healthfirst’s third party pharmacy CVS Caremark.  CVS, during an endless two hour phone call, took no responsibility for their part in the potentially deadly mistake.   

The patient/customer knew from a wealth of past experience that in our corporate healthcare system, even under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, even in New York State, an early adopter of Obamacare, there is no regulatory agency that oversees private health insurance companies.    He wrote directly to his insurance company’s CEO, Pat Wang, to “alert (her) to the negligence and unresponsive customer care of her third party pharmacy.”    It was a mere expression of exasperation, no matter how clearly written or how cogently argued.  

The following is the hypothetical response of a CEO with no obligation to respond to anything, outside of a long-shot lawsuit.

Dear Sir [1]:

My assistant is in receipt of your recently emailed complaint about allegedly getting the wrong medication from our third-party pharmacy.

Apparently, in addition to writing long emails of complaint to strangers, you also, fortunately, had the common sense to research the drug that was, you claim, erroneously sent to you.  You prudently did this research before taking the drug.  As a result you suffered no serious bodily harm, no monetary loss nor any other cognizable legal injury.   

You don’t need to be a lawyer (and I am not) to know that without a cause of action, and a viable, filed lawsuit against our company, you are powerless to compel any kind of response from me.

However, on a personal level, let me simply state the sadness I feel for your situation.  Clearly, by the minimal level of health insurance you are entitled to under the PPACA, you have not thrived in our system.   I suggest a better use of your time would be figuring out the answer to that riddle, you sad fucker.

I hope this addresses the concerns raised in your recently emailed letter.  As always, thank you for your ongoing business and please do not hesitate to contact us if you ever feel the need to whine about things beyond anyone’s control.

Yours sincerely, etc.


[1]  NO!  I’m kidding.  She ain’t gonna write back!!!  LOL!