Showing posts with label Gov. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gov. Show all posts

The US Defense Budget - A Solution for Saving Defense Spending Money

For Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, and anyone else who is interested.


There is a lot of discussion, debate, and disagreement about our U.S. military troops being deployed around the world. Both sides have premises and conclusions that have merit. Here is a possible solution to the whole, controversial, military, political mess.

Table of Contents
1. The Way It Is.
2. The Way It Could Be.
3. The Net Result of Implementation.

-----------

The US Defense Budget and a Broke America – The Way It Is

Our current methodology is as follows:

We go hat-in-hand, to the country where we think our military troops need to be. Most of the time the potential host country knows darn well it would be a good idea to have those troops there. However, under current practice, the potential host country knows that the smart thing to do is to initially say no.

The following results then ensue: In short, it turns into a major bargaining extravaganza.

The potential host country does everything in its power to extract as much money, one-sided trade agreements, and other perks as possible.

Never mind that our presence there is of more benefit to the host country than it is to us.

Never mind that we will be spending billions of dollars there that go into the local economy.

Never mind that the troops in the new or existing base will be spending millions more doing the same.

Never mind that the major purpose of the troops being there in the first place is to help protect the host country.

As far as the potential host country is concerned, they want those extra billions of dollars in land-lease fees. They want those one-sided trade agreements. They want it all.

And we meekly comply. Why is that?

The US Defense Budget and a Broke America – The Way It Could Be

This is the methodology we could use: We contact the potential host country where we think it would be a good idea for troops to be present. We then present in great detail why we think this is so. We show them the threats that we have discovered and that they need to be concerned about. We freely share with the potential host country all evidence and documentation substantiating our conclusions. We remind them of the billions of dollars that will be injected into the host country's local economy by our government and troops if we locate there. We remind them of the inevitable, mutually prosperous trade agreements that will evolve from our countries working together for the common good.

We then inquire as to how much the potential host country is willing to contribute to make this all possible. For starters, all land-lease agreements will be for the sum of $1 a year. This serves the dual purpose of saving the U.S. Taxpayer billions of dollars a year and also conclusively shows the world that the U.S. is there as an invited guest and for the purpose of helping the host country. Any contributions that the host country makes beyond that would of course be greatly dependent on the host country's situation. The potential host country's refusal of the $1-a-year lease agreement, however, would be a deal-breaker.

Once we have presented our information to the potential host country, we then leave and await their decision.

The Net Result of Implementation

The methodology in Part Two could be implemented worldwide as current base lease agreements expire. If the host country declines the new lease agreement, then it probably isn't that necessary for us to be there in the first place. Either way, hundreds of billions will be saved. And it will pretty much put an end to the political aspect of it all.

Just a thought.

Have more thoughts? Feel free to post them in the comments section below. Debate and differing opinions are welcome.

Beware Riverside County Medi-Cal Social Services in Hemet, California - A Review

The old and current card for existing California Medi-Cal recipients.
Card remains valid.

About:
Department Of Public Social Services (Self-Sufficiency)
541 N San Jacinto St, Hemet, CA 92543
Department of Social Services

Never, ever, give Riverside County Medi-Cal Social Services in Hemet, California any piece of paper without getting a receipt for it. Never, ever, upload or mail anything to Riverside County Medi-Cal Social Services in Hemet, California. They will claim they never received it. Failure to follow this advice will give you immeasurable grief (based on personal experience).

It gets worse. They will also outright lie to you. They will tell you over the phone that everything is fine, then 2-3 months later you will start getting notices in the mail saying that you owe money. This will be because either:
  • They reneged on everything and never bothered to tell you.
Or
  • They messed up, discovered their error, messed up again when semi-fixing it, and then tried to cover it up instead of warning you about it. By the time you discover it, it's too late to request a State Hearing to get the rest of it cleaned up.

On other occasions, they've sent me ultimatums with due dates earlier than when they sent out the letter. Then you discover your Medi-Cal insurance and/or QMB have been cancelled; again without any notification or warning whatsoever.

Be advised that once you have the Medi-Cal mess straightened out; Medi-Call apparently doesn't tell the subsidiary plans that things have been fixed, IEHP being an example. You have to call IEHP or whoever and get it straightened out on your own. Also, if you had Denti-Cal; you may have lost that as well.

These are not isolated occurrences. These incidents have been going on for years.

[Update] The above and various versions of this have now happened to me multiple times. Based on my previous experiences, the following will now also happen again:
  1. Even though fixed, the Hemet Medi-Cal office will still pass along the original false information on to the State of California.
  2. State of California then automatically passes along the false information to Social Security. This includes the withholding of the QMB payment from Social Security.
  3. Chaos will then automatically ensue as to my monthly Social Security retirement benefits amount re QMB and such. Last time this happened, it took 1-2 months before it hit; slow pipeline apparently.
  4. Then it eventually gets mostly fixed within another 2-3 months, again the slow pipeline issue. The last time, some money was permanently lost, as in gone forever. This was because of the previously mentioned no-warning issue. This time, I know it's coming; so I may be able to recover all of it.
It's probably going to be a lost cause, but I will call social Security and warn them what is coming down the pike. It's a long shot, but maybe they have the capability to be prepared and abort the sequence before or when it happens. We shall see. Am not hopeful. I'll post updates as they happen. I've also fired off an email to the relevant California State site. Here's a list of Federal/State sites that might actually help you.

[Update: Research seems to indicate the above description is a state-wide problem. Research also indicates that the frontline California Medi-Cal social services workers are treated even worse than the California Medi-Cal patients. So when the inevitable happens to you, let the worker know you know and understand.]

The new and current card for new and existing California Medi-Cal recipients.
Both cards are valid.

A side note. You will need one of the above cards when you go to Hemet Social Services Medi-Cal office to submit your paperwork at the imaging kiosk. When you use the kiosk, it will automatically give you a receipt.

Or so
Department Of Public Social Services (Self-Sufficiency)
541 N San Jacinto St, Hemet, CA 92543
Department of Social Services
says.

[update] Have now been told via other comments  case number is enough.

Help with Medical Bills Federal and State Websites

These websites will actually help you when a medical entity victimizes you with inflated or outright fraudulent medical bills and/or denied insurance claims.

This includes hospitals, general doctors, specialists, X-ray places, CT scan or PET scan centers, blood test places, and pretty much any other medical facility or entity that engages in illegal or unethical conduct. Emphasis is on illegal, unethical contracts and on illegal, unethical billing practices. Also includes resources regarding insurance company misconduct or for when a Medicare, Medicaid, or Medi-Cal case worker makes a mistake or acts in bad faith. Sooner or later, you will need the information on this page.

Medical Federal and California (and other) State Government Websites That Will Help You When an Insurance Company or Service Provider Victimizes You – Also Some Worthwhile Additional Information


Patients Rights Help and Support Resource List

A list of resources regarding the rights patients are legally supposed to have. Many provide complaint forms and will actually help you. All listed websites are government or other well-known, reputable resources. All links go directly to the website's patients rights page and/or patients help page.
  • MedlinePlus, from the U.S. Library of National Medicine.
  • HealthCare.gov, your rights under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Medicare.gov, your Medicare rights.
  • The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. , a resource for filing complaints, grievances, appeals, etc.; in other words, a place to rat out medical service providers. The page also promises to provide information, help, assistance, and other services. The page is apparently also the starting point for when you need to deal with Medicare's own shenanigans.
  • CMS.gov, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The particular link I provided has to do with Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight. The page may not especially look it, but these guys are your friend. Sometimes, out of the blue and without any action on your part, they will send you notices a particular medical bill from a medical service provider or insurance entity is not valid and that you don't have to pay it. This website is definitely worth prowling around when you have the time.
  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the go-to page for filing medical complaints in California.
  • Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA), another go-to page for filing medical complaints in California.
  • CDSS is another California site that my be able to help you, especially as applies to local office Medi-Cal screw-ups.
  • Google. For folks not in California, simply do a search for:
    "YourStateNameHere patients rights site:.gov" (without the quotes and be sure to include the exact "site:.gov" syntax).
If a link suddenly stops working, it means the website moved that particular page. Let me know in the comments section and I'll find and post the new location.

Some Tips for When Dealing with the Medical Bureaucracy

  • The Medicare 1-800-633-4227 number is open 24/7. They have always been friendly, professional, and helpful.
  • Referring doctors make paperwork mistakes all the time. Whenever possible make sure the medical treatment specifications match what the Medicare white book says. This is mostly applicable to preventive services. Not kidding here, make sure the doctor's instructions exactly match what the white book specifies. I've personally saved myself one financial disaster already by doing this.
  • Never walk into a medical service provider's diagnostic center without the proper Medicare COPD 5-digit code included on the referral paperwork. 
  • Referring doctors make paperwork mistakes all the time (did I mention that already?). Always call the Medicare number first and verify the accuracy of the Medicare code on the paperwork before going to the specialist's or medical service provider's office. Confirm with Medicare that the Medicare code number is valid for your circumstances and procedure(s) and that Medicare will approve and pay for the procedure.
  • When referred to a specialist, sometimes a COPD code isn't provided; the specialist adds the code after the fact. Your only defense against this is having diagnostic information showing the necessity of the visit to the specialist, e.g., CAT scan shows potential malignancies in lungs, thus being referred to a pulmonologist makes medical sense. If the specialists uses the wrong code(s) after the fact and the claim is denied, don't just give up. Work with Medicare and the specialist to get the mistake straightened out and resubmit the claim.
  • The referring doctor does not not always know if the referred specialist or medical service provider takes Medicare, Medicaid, Medi-Cal, etc. When you walk into that referred specialist's office or medical service center for the first time and have identified yourself, always ask first:
  1. Does Medicare accept you and do you accept Medicare as full payment, secondary insurance covering remaining balance?
  2. Does Medicaid//Medi-Cal/Etc. accept you and do you accept Medicaid, Medi-Cal, etc. or whatever other supporting insurance applicable in your situation as full payment?
If any part of their answer is no, leave immediately. As a Medicare beneficiary, you have the right to go to any Medicare specialist or service provider center you wish. Tell your primary, referring doctor what happened and they'll take care of it.

An important note. If a medical entity financially victimizes you or is trying to victimize you happens to be a referral from your doctor, first check with Medicare via their website and/or phone calls and find out exactly what is going on. If that doesn't clarify or fix the situation, then tell your doctor's office all about it. They might be able to fix the problem with just one phone call to the offending medical entity; not so surprisingly, your doctor's office will often be quite successful at this.

A personal note. That medical contract you are always forced to sign is basically a blank check allowing the medical entity to do whatever they want. You've given them the right to do anything and everything their hearts desire and then to bill you for whatever insurance doesn't cover. For that reason, I always print directly above my signature the following in caps:

"ONLY PROVIDE INSURANCE COVERED SERVICES ONLY"

If the medical service provider then refuses you as a patient, immediately inform your primary physician that referred you. If that doesn't solve the problem, i.e., your doctor being able to find a different service provider in the area; I'd personally let Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, and any other involved insurance/government entity know all about it. I would think they would all want to know about a medical service provider that turns away patients simply because that patient only wants those services that are covered by insurance. Who knows? They might even be able to help you.

An update (Medical Hack(?)). Someone sent me this. I do not know if it is true or not. It sure would be interesting to find out:


I'm continuing to look for other government medical websites that help patients when it comes to money issues. If you happen to know of one, please mention it in comments. I'll be happy to include it on the list. Federal sites are preferred, but sites specific to your state are also welcome.

Medical Service Provider Corruption - Patients Forced to Sign SWAG Medical Contracts Under Duress

[This page was originally entitled "Medical Imaging and Diagnostic Centers Saying Medicare Part B Reneges on Paying for Preventative Services" and was about a local incident. The page has since been expanded to address other local incidents and as they relate to the national issue. Bottom of the page has a list of government bookmarks for helping patients deal with unethical medical conduct. Page may occasionally be updated as more information comes to light.

The problem is the medical service provider is trying to
make the patient responsible for Medicare's conduct.

October 13, 2016 (first local incident)

Per doctor's written instructions, I went to an imaging/diagnostic center (name temporarily redacted) for chest/lung X-rays. I had been to this place before a couple years ago and there hadn't been any problems.

As with most medical service providers, I was first directed to the Hallowed Contract Signing Room. And there is where everything fell apart...

They placed a contract in front of me that basically said (paraphrasing):
  • We will take the X-rays.
  • We will bill Medicare.
  • Medicare will then decide if the X-rays were medically necessary or not.
  • If Medicare unilaterally decides the X-rays were not necessary and refuses to pay, then you must pay instead.
  • If you refuse to sign this contract, we will refuse to do the X-rays your doctor ordered.
In other words, the imaging/diagnostic center is claiming:
  • That Medicare no longer considers a doctor's word or judgement good enough.
  • That Medicare sometimes reneges on payments and that I am supposed to protect the imaging/diagnostic center from this by agreeing to pay them myself in such cases.

I felt sympathy for the woman at the desk, I knew she was just following orders.

So, is this a Medicare issue or is this an imaging/diagnostic centers issue? Or maybe it is only this one service provider that is pulling this stunt and Medicare is being falsely accused? [Incident is sorted out in next section.]

As a side note, I asked for a copy of the contract to show the doctor as to why I didn't get the X-rays and the imaging/diagnostic center flatly refused.

October 27, 2016 (second local incident)

Per doctor's written instructions, I went to a local blood lab (name temporarily redacted) this morning. While in the back room, they came in with a contract saying certain medical codes were missing and I would have to agree to pay for what Medicare wouldn't pay because of the missing codes. I declined, at which point they said they would contact the referring doctor's office and get the codes.

They then came back and said they had got the codes and proceeded to take my blood. I never had to sign anything and all appeared well.

When I got home, it occurred to me to call the doc's office to see if the blood lab really did call them and get the codes.The Doc's Office Said They Never Received Any Such Call. They further said they would look into and deal with it, and that I would not be responsible for any bills.

I'll wait to see how this sorts out before acting further. I never signed or agreed to anything. So if I do receive any sort of bill, I will perceive it as attempted fraud on the part of the blood lab and will indeed name names, unlike my still withholding the name of the imaging/diagnostic center.

When I first reported about this second incident, I received input from others stating such things as...
  • They have been nothing but trouble for people with Medicare or PPO health insurance.
  •  Credit card numbers demanded in advance before agreeing to do blood work.
  • Collection agencies being used on unwarranted/disputed bills.
This incident is considerably worse than the first incident, in fact it makes the first incident pale by comparison. I'm waiting to see how my situation turns out before acting accordingly.

November 15, 2016 update: still no bill received.

Early November, 2016 (third local incident)

Per doc's referral, I went to an eye doctor place (name temporarily redacted) and made an appointment. After making the appointment, I then perused their frames selection. The prices were literally double to triple the prices that can be found elsewhere, presumably the lens prices would be equally exorbitant.

The place was packed with patients/customers, noticing that caused me conflicted emotions...
  • On the one hand, I am pro capitalism. If a business entity discovers an unending supply of customers who voluntarily pay double to triple the going rate for a product or service, then you really can't fault the business entity for taking advantage of that.
  • On the other hand, pretty much all the patients/customers there were extremely old people who just plain no longer apparently had the mental faculties to know any better or the ability to  realize what was going on. I'm not an attorney, but this could easily be perceived as a case for elder abuse. Most insurance does not pay for frames and lenses, only for the exams.
At any rate, I mulled things over and cancelled my appointment. I may or may not work up the energy to look into this particular situation further.

The National Problem

[This page started out being about the actions of a single medical service provider. However it has now become about the national issue of medical service providers denying patients medical care unless the patient agrees  to sign what are known as SWAG CONTRACTS.]

Continuation and Update

I called the doctor's office. Yep, apparently most imaging/diagnostics centers are now pulling this stunt.

A patient being held responsible for a bill, because they falsely claimed they were insured, is indeed as it should be. However, a service provider attempting to force a patient to be held responsible for an insurer's breach of contract, bureaucracy, bad faith conduct, mistakes, or even just a misunderstanding is not.

The contract is between the service provider and the insurer, it is their responsibilities to understand and agree to the terms. Any attempt by a medical service provider to make a patient responsible for an insurer's actions is, to me, an essentially bad faith action on the part of the provider. Basically, the medical service provider is extorting the patient to insure the provider against the actions of the insurer, the threat being the withholding of needed medical care if the patient refuses to do so. In other words, patients are being forced to sign under duress.

Proposed Solution


Is it any wonder most countries think America has the most corrupt Medical Establishment on the planet? Our government keeps trying to fight it. But the greed and corruption is so entrenched, ingrained, embedded, and widespread (there are media reports almost daily on the subject) that nationalization of the medical industry may indeed be the only answer.

There would still be private sector medical professionals, but the government would be the single insurer and the only legally responsible payer. And it would be illegal for any private sector medical entity to try to coerce a patient into signing any sort of contract. Proof and authentication of identity would be all that is required, preauthorization for medical procedures implemented on an as needed basis. Premiums would be based on income.  Service providers (including hospitals) would no longer have to worry about being paid. Patients would no longer have to worry about being thrown into financial hardship or outright bankruptcy.

Meanwhile and for the time being, if a service provider hands you a contract such as the one I described in the above bulleted list.... Inform them that if they are unwilling to trust the insurer, then neither are you. You will no doubt immediately be thrown out, but at least you wont be a patsy.

You might try suggesting the service provider get preauthorization from the insurer. However and for some unknown reason, there are apparently some medical service providers who refuse to make the 3-minute phone call, the initially mentioned imaging and diagnostic center being one such case.

On a personal note, I am aware versions of this situation have been going on for decades. I have always circumvented the problem by simply adding the following sentence directly above my signature in caps:"ONLY PROVIDE INSURANCE COVERED SERVICES ONLY". The service provider then gets everything pre-authorized and there has never been a problem. As to why this particular, aforementioned imaging and diagnostic center is pulling this new stunt is beyond me. I live in a small town, hopefully the situation isn't as bad as the doctor's office has indicated and they can find a more ethical place to refer me.

This Has to Stop

A Bookmarks Reference List of Patients Bill of Rights Resources

I figured while I was at it, I might as well compile a list of resources regarding the rights patients are legally supposed to have. All listed websites are government or other well-known, reputable sources. All links go directly to the website's patients rights and assistance pages. I might add to this list from time to time.

Update:

List moved to Government Help for When Subjected to Medical Misconduct Victimization. Particularly relates to financial and billing misconduct.

Social Security and/or Other Online Federal Government Accounts Again Requiring Mandatory Security Code Verification in Addition to User Name and Password

February 2018 Update

Nothing really new to report. The only thing I can think to mention is that one should sign up with their website, regardless of age. Never hurts to keep an eye on things. Side note: I'm not putting a link here. Never go to an important site via a link from another site; too many security issues involved. Only go to such sites via directly from your browser address bar or from a well-known, reputable search engine; and while you're at it, hover the link to see where it really goes before clicking it.

May 2017 Update

This time they are making an email option available along with the previously aborted text messaging option. This should indeed keep the poor people (of which I am one) from being shut out of their accounts. It is nice to see that Social Security is finally catching up with reality. Here's the informational email they are sending out:

*Start*
Social Security continues to evaluate and improve how we protect what’s important to you. We take this responsibility seriously, and we have a robust cybersecurity program in place to help protect the personal information you entrust to us. Adding additional security measures to safeguard your personal information — but making our services easy to use — is a vital part of keeping you safe and secure.

On June 10, 2017, we will add a second method to check your identification when you sign in to my Social Security. This is in addition to the first layer of security, your username and password. Right now, you don’t have to do anything for this new process. But you may want to sign in to your account to make sure you remember your username and password. Then, when you sign in on or after June 10, you will be able to choose either your cell phone or your email address as your second identification method. Using two ways to identify you when you log on will help better protect your account from unauthorized use and potential identity fraud.

Since my Social Security became available in May 2012, more than 30 million people have created an account. We have always offered a second layer of protection, but only for customers who opted to use it.

Last summer, we added a second way for us to check your identity when you registered or signed in to my Social Security. However, at that time, we only allowed the use of a cell phone as your second identification method. We listened to your concerns, and beginning on June 10, you can choose either your cell phone or your email address as the second way for us to identify you. Since an email address is already required to use my Social Security, everyone can continue to benefit from the features my Social Security provides.

Each time you sign in to your account, you will complete two steps:
  • Step 1: Enter your username and password.
  • Step 2: Enter the security code we send you by text message or email, depending on your choice (your cell phone provider's text message and data rates may apply).
If you do not have a text-enabled cell phone, or you do not wish to provide your cell phone number, you will need to choose your email address as a contact method so we can send you a one-time security code to access your my Social Security account. To ensure you receive the email with the one-time security code timely and it does not go into your spam or junk folder, you can add NO-REPLY@ssa.ov to your contact list. 

We’re committed to using the best technologies and standards available to protect our customers’ data. This new security advancement is just one of the ways we’re ensuring the safety of the resources entrusted to us.

In addition to these security enhancements, we are also upgrading the look and feel of my Social Security, in an effort to create an enhanced customer experience. The my Social Security portal will automatically change its size based on the size of the screen and kind of device you are using – such as a tablet, smart phone, or computer. No matter what type of device you choose, you will have full, easy-to-use access to your personal my Social Security account.

*End*

For Those Who Are Interested, Here's What Happened Before...


2016 UPDATE The text-messaging requirement has been rescinded. Here is Social Security's latest email:

*Start*

On July 30, 2016, we began requiring you to sign into your my Social Security account using a one-time code sent via text message. We implemented this new layer of security, known as “multifactor authentication,” in compliance with a Presidential executive order to improve the security of consumer financial transactions.  SSA implemented the improvements aggressively because we have a fundamental responsibility to protect the public’s personal information.

However, multifactor authentication inconvenienced or restricted access to some of our account holders. We’re listening to your concerns and are responding by temporarily rolling back this mandate.

As before July 30, you can now access your secure account using only your username and password. We highly recommend the extra security text message option, but it is not required. We’re developing an alternative authentication option, besides text messaging, that we’ll begin implementing within the next six months.

We strive to balance security and customer service options, and we want to ensure that our online services are both easy to use and secure. The my Social Security service has always featured a robust verification and authentication process, and it remains safe and secure.

We regret any inconvenience you may have experienced.

There is no requirement that you access your personal my Social Security account as a result of the steps we are taking.  However, when you do access your account, we encourage you to sign up for the extra security text message option.  You can access your account by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

 *End*

Here is the original post that started it all:


Poor People Can No Longer Access Their Social Security Or Other Online Federal Government Accounts


I am one of the people who cannot afford the monthly, exorbitant cell phone fees. I just received this email from Social Security. Leastwise I can afford internet access (try landline DSL if possible, can save decent money); but for me and millions of others, I guess internet access to our federal government accounts is no more.

*Start*

Starting in August 2016, Social Security is adding a new step to protect your privacy as a my Social Security user.  This new requirement is the result of an executive order for federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services. Any agency that provides online access to a customer’s personal information must use multifactor authentication.

When you sign in at ssa.gov/myaccount with your username and password, we will ask you to add your text-enabled cell phone number.  The purpose of providing your cell phone number is that, each time you log in to your account with your username and password, we will send you a one-time security code you must also enter to log in successfully to your account.

Each time you sign into your account, you will complete two steps:
  • Step 1:  Enter your username and password.
  • Step 2:  Enter the security code we text to your cell phone (cell phone provider's text message and data rates may apply).
The process of using a one-time security code in addition to a username and password is one form of “multifactor authentication,” which means we are using more than one method to make sure you are the actual owner of your account.

If you do not have a text-enabled cell phone or you do not wish to provide your cell phone number, you will not be able to access your my Social Security account.

If you are unable or choose not to use my Social Security, there are other ways you can contact us.  To learn more, please review the Frequently Asked Questions found here.

*End*

And that's the way it is...

Meritocracy - Politics - Society

The Sociological Definition and Results of a 100% Meritocracy, i.e., Social Darwinism

Why a 100% Meritocratic Society Can Never Work as a Standalone System, the Pros and Cons. For Democrats, Republicans. Liberals. Conservatives, and anyone else who is interested.


Darwinism - Another word for meritocracy

 

Introduction

Meritocracy is a good thing. In addition to rewarding those who can compete, it generates lots of extra money that can be used to help those who cannot. Unfortunately, meritocracy can never work as a standalone system. This is due to the fundamental nature of meritocracy and, of all things, the basic laws of mathematics.

What is a meritocracy? For the purposes of this article, meritocracy is defined as one's survival and success being solely contingent upon one's ability to compete and contribute to society in such a way as to prosper.

Meritocracy and capitalism have a lot in common. In a "perfect" system, the concept of money could be defined as the method used to quantify one's success.

The Scenario – What would happen if a society were to convert to a 100% meritocracy? Sociological implications...

In a meritocracy there will always be winners and losers. In many cases the loser worked just as hard as the winner, but the winner was just a little bit better at it. The winner thus gets more and the loser gets less. So far, no problem. And the loser can always try again.

However, resources are finite. For the bottom 10%, there will always not be enough. There will not be enough shelter. There will not be enough food. There will not be enough health care. There will not be enough of a lot of things. It is inevitable, due to the lack of even the basic necessities of life, the "losers" will sooner or later lose the ability to compete. Now what with this being a 100% meritocratic scenario, what happens to them?

It is already abundantly demonstrated in our present society one of two alternatives will occur...

Alternative One – The person dies

In our present society ,homeless people unnecessarily die all the time. Everyone knows living on the streets will eventually destroy most people through attrition: a continual decline of health, the eventual and inevitable being a victim of successive crimes, and finally the loss of ability to defend or survive, and then death.

However, we are not talking about our current society. We are discussings a 100% meritocratic society. Therefore: there are no free job-training programs; there are no homeless shelters; there are no food banks or food programs; there is no affordable health care; there is no type of charity or handout whatsoever.

Needless to say, this greatly accelerates the attrition, leading to death or the second alternative.

Alternative Two – A new criminal is born

Steal, rob, kill; or die. That pretty much sums it up.

Of course the number of criminals will continually be reduced for the usual reasons: competition among same; attrition through street-living; "eradication" by society via imprisonment, etc.

As the number of criminals are reduced, others will take their place.

The Brutal Mathematics

What happens when the bottom 10% gradually dies; whether it be through Alternative One or Alternative Two? The answer is simple; they will gradually be replaced by a new 10%. It is a brutal mathematical fact; there will always be a bottom 10%.

Recursion comes into play. As the bottom 10% shrink through death, new bottom 10%'ers will take their place. Along with an expanding criminal element and a shrinking population; riots and other civil unrest could very well become commonplace. 100% meritocracy is equivalent to 100% Darwinism. Both are good, but not at the 100% implementation level.

Conclusion

A 100% meritocracy is not only brutal and full of misery, it is destined to fail.

An 80% to 90% meritocracy, however, would be a good thing. We pretty much have that now. We just need to get better at it.

It should also be noted a meritocracy below 80% will more than likely lead to a country's bankruptcy. This apparently is already happening in some European countries.

List of Legitimate Medical Website Resources

Updated for Year 2018


And do note the final resource listed under the $100 bills.
You will be glad you did.


Resource Description
Fighting Patient Financial Abuse Patients Forced to Sign SWAG Medical Contracts Under Duress. Includes additional resources to fight back.
...nih.gov/... Patient rights, and much more.
consumer.gov/... Patient rights, and much more.
calpatientguide California patient rights, and much more.
CMS.HHS.gov Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. Includes nursing home ratings.
Medicare Medicare Information.
amdcanada Macular Degeneration. Amsler Grid.

Resource Description
MayoClinic Seems to have it all.
Merck The Merck Manual. The medical standard.
WebMD This and that, more...
drugstore Popular pharmacy.
pparx Prescription cost assistance directory.
HealthWorld Health answers, medline, more.
HealthLibray Stanford Health Library.
HealthAnswer Health/Medical answers.
InteliHealth Health/Medical answers.
MedExpert Has every medical link on the planet, more....
healthgrades Research hospitals/physicians/more. Free & fee.
QualityCheck Hospital ratings, more.
nhcaa National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association.
FDA Food and Drug Administration.
NLM Federal National Library of Medicine.
alz.org Alzheimer's info.

Resource Information About Specific Doctors
A.M.A. The American Medical Association. Basic background info and a whole bunch of other stuff.
A.B.M. Specialties Board certification status.
Admin. in Med. Misconduct, malpractice, criminal data.
A.D.A. American Dental Association.
doctoroogle The Good Dentist Guide - By Patients for Patients.

Hi, all. I do my best to keep this page current. If a broken link shows up here, please let me know via the comments section.

This Has to Stop

Last, but not least, Here is a page dedicated exclusively to patient financial victimization.


List of Senior Citizen Website Resources for the 50, 55, 60, 65, and Over Crowd



Updated for Year 2018

Resource Description
SSA.gov Social Security Administration.
Medicare.gov Medicare Information. All things medicare.
GovBenefits.gov Official government benefits website.
USA.gov/... Find government resources for money, housing,
health, consumer protection, and much more.
HUD.gov/...Housing options and assistance.
What your health insurance might cover.
Financial assistance resources and guides.
Access to HUD-approved housing counselor.
MissingMoney.com State and provincial governments working together
to safeguard and return your lost funds.
Unclaimed.org National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators
AARP.org All things senior citizen. Private organization.

Resource Description
retirementjobs Employment for older workers.
seniorjobbank Employment for older workers.
seniors4hire Employment for older workers.
Empty Nothing at present.
dinosaur-exchange Employment for older workers. Intl.
More More employment resources. Plus State and Federal.

Consumer Resources Page for future reference (new tab) - Has 97 consumer information resources, including product comparison sites and well-established coupon sites.


Medical Resources Page for future reference (new tab) - Has 28 medical information resources, including medical information, hospital and doctor information and ratings, and federal information websites.



List of Most Popular Federal Website Resources

Updated for Mid Year 2018

For 90% of visitors, you will find your federal link here. Also makes for interesting browsing.

Resource Description
NIST Time Time
USPS US Post Office
IRS Internal Revenue Service
IRS Advocate IRS help
FTC Federal Trade Commission
FDA Food and Drug Administration
SSA Social Security Administration
CMS.HHS.gov Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. Includes nursing home ratings
Medicare Medicare information
GovBenefits Official benefits site
Census Census Bureau
BLS Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
USmint US Mint
GSA General Services Administration
FPDS Federal Procurement Data System
FedBizOpps Federal government procurement opportunities
FBOdaily FedBizOpps (FBO)
HUD Housing and Urban Development
State Dept. State Department
State Dept. State Department. How to get passport.
CIA CIA. Includes world fact book.
FBI FBI
GAO General Accounting Office
FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
CIC Consumer Information Catalog
Grants Central source for organization grants
CDC Center for Disease Control
Congressional Information Legislative Information Service
NASA NASA Hubble telescope
NASA Gallery NASA Hubble telescope images
USGS USGS earthquake site
FuelEconomy.gov EPA mileage data and info
SEC Securities and Exchange Commission

Nat'l Libraries Description
LOC Library of Congress
NLM National Library of Medicine
NLE National Library of Education
NAL National Agricultural Library

Directories Description
USA U.S. government's official web portal.
Fed World Links, more....

American flag in cupola of International Space Station with Earth visible through windows. - NASA