Sunday, Mother’s Day, being nice and warm if cloudy. I got in a good walk on Sunday and worked on a few projects besides. Come Monday morning however, the storm is finally moving in, heavy rain, wind. Abrupt changes in weather can raise hell with my Bronchitis. The nice thing about recycling walks, if you don’t feel quite up to getting out, you don’t have to. Because I elected not to, I watched a good part of the news today:

The Republican party likes to keep Benghazi and the events that occurred at the American Consulate front an center. Never mind that they had their own role in why there wasn’t more security for the consulate in question. After all, they only elected to cut the security funds. Nor have they yet to ask some real questions about Al Qaeda affiliates who might have decided to “take advantage of a riot in Cairo” to target the American Consulate in Benghazi. That wouldn’t do, I guess. Instead, as Stephen Colbert was to show his viewers, seems the GOP are more into engaging in games of schematics over word usage than addressing where there might have been actual problems and what needed to be done to correct them.

In the Coeur d’Alene Press, that local newspaper featured a video circulating in which certain types of kids complained about being bullied for being “Christian.” Seriously? Sounds like a rehash of the kinds of letters to the editors I saw published in the Press years ago. When “Christians” would complain about multi-culturalism, or secular humanism. A twist on the argument, that from the standpoint of what kids are being taught or otherwise experiencing, and there fore, I want an opportunity to put them in a new school setting. Since I don’t take the paper, then I would just have to ask; there are so many churches throughout the entire Kootenai County area that I’ll make a comfortable bet that most kids go to one. The minority kids who don’t, are the ones who stand the greatest chance of getting bullied. You just won’t hear about those kids though will you?

Finally, the IRS. The IRS should thoroughly investigate all applications for the 501(c 4) status. Especially if the organization wishes to claim a charitable purpose in what they do and defines themselves as non profit besides. Only I don’t believe that most political organizations can make that claim. The IRS problem stems from the fact that they chose to investigate Republican associated groups such as “The TEA Party” in what can be described as: in a partisan manner. That is wrong. I’ll agree that it is wrong. We all have our sundry issues with the IRS. It wasn’t all that long ago, in fact, that Jim Hightower had a few issues with the IRS that dropped a heavy hammer on people who simply made honest mistakes with their tax forms. I guess those people need to be forming a politically partisan group that seeks a tax exempt status through the IRS before anyone is likely to hear what real outrages they have experienced. My personal view is, the 501 (c) status has been much abused and various partisan political groups have taken real advantage of it. The IRS should ask very real questions about how legitimate these organizations purport to be. But that in all cases, not just selected groups and for political purposes besides, all such organizations should be investigated. The IRS should only do the job it was assigned to: collect taxes.

On a more personal note, I was facing a good many health issues last year, which meant that over a two month period, I was in the emergency room three times. Now the VA appointments line always does include the message of “If you have an emergency…” Meaning that the VA Hospital will authorize and pay for an emergency trip to the local hospital. Well, following the last such emergency trip, steroids given to combat Bronchitis. The steroids never affected the Bronchitis, but did cause some real concerns with everything else, I started getting these separate billing statements from the EMS people at least once a month. So much was owed… But I have a zero payment to make. The Kootenai Medical Center was sending out their own bills. I wasn’t exactly told, at the time, that the people in the “charge master’s office” weren’t supposed to send me anything. Well they did. They’d find something to nickle and dime me over, and of course I’d pay it. Same thing with the VA authorized mammogram. I started getting these separate bills after the VA hospital and set up the appointment. Of course I did pay them. However, three months later, the billing office at the Kootenai Medical Center was still finding these outstanding balances to continue to nickle and dime me with. There was one problem, they asked for a fairly large co-payment soon after the mammogram, which they got, then returned it. Then they started nickle and dime billing me for the same mammogram that they first claimed they didn’t need the initial co-payment for. I still had that check, voided now, and sent a copy to them. I also wrote to the VA in Washington, D.C. about this and the VA Hospital. To the best of my knowledge, the final payment that was tendered has not gone through. The people I talked to at Kootenai Imaging chose to give me the runaround. And I got the latest from the VA Hospital that Kootenai Medical Center was never supposed to send me any bills, period. I’ll blog this, just to vent about it. What I do figure, I’ll hold that slot open of the “good faith payment” that was tendered to the hospital. But if it never goes through, then I’ll update my account balance, at that time, to what it currently shows by way of the bank. I’m not the only one who thinks that the medical staff hears the ringing of cash registers when ever a prospective patient comes in. But they just don’t choose to listen to the patient. Fortunately, for most things, there are alternatives. If the Kootenai Medical Center really wants to style itself as a for profit commercial enterprise, they just lost my business.


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