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August 15, 2009

True Tales of Health Insurance
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:01 AM *

From the Weekend Reformer (Brattleboro, VT), August 8-9, 2009:

BELLOWS FALLS — A former LeFevre Ambulance Service employee is accusing the company of stealing the insurance payments from his paycheck to help make payroll, leading the insurance company to cancel his policy.

Gregory Malone received a letter from MVP Health Care telling him that his policy was terminated just after his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child.

Now, with bills piling up for the mother and child due to complications brought on from the birth, Malone is talking to local, state and federal authorities to try to get the company to back pay the insurance money to get the coverage for his wife and child.

“I did everything I was supposed to do. I made the payments every week,” Malone said as he pointed to the line on past payroll stubs showing that $151.52 was taken out. “But where did the money go?”

Malone said LeFevre Ambulance Director David Booth admitted that a former office employee had used the insurance payments to help meet the company’s financial obligations, and according to Malone, the company promised to get the past due payments to MVP Healthcare.

The story continues, and only gets worse.

“Our baby needs surgery and the bills are piling up,” Malone said. “The surgery needs to happen and we don’t have the money to pay for it.”

“We don’t know what else to do. We don’t want the money back, we just need the coverage,” she [Malone’s wife] said. “We’re worried about our baby. We already owe $22,000 and we don’t have $22,000. If they don’t take care of this, we are really going to be in trouble.”

The story was reported by Howard Weiss-Tisman, hwtisman [at] reformer [dot] com, (802) 254-2311 ext 279, if anyone needs more details. The AP hasn’t picked this up. A Google News search shows only this one story in one tiny local newspaper.

Bellows Falls is a town of 3,000 in south-eastern Vermont, on the New Hampshire border, not too far from Massachusetts. I recommend the Miss Bellows Falls Diner, if you happen to be in town for some reason (say, to interview a guy who needs health insurance).

Comments on True Tales of Health Insurance:
#1 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:21 AM:

Jim, this is the kind of thing that terrifies me. Not that my Jim and I are going to have babies ever (my age is past that). But I have hypertension that is being kept in check by meds that my doc is kind enough to supply from samples.

I've been unemployed since Dec. 2006, unable to afford COBRA ($900 per month) and we are living on a wing and a prayer. I'm doing things like eating better, I have NO family history because I'm adopted and MO is a state where you can die before they will give you ANY info about your birth family, Dr. P has a healthy family history AND has done things recently, like give up pop completely that have caused him to slim down a bit. But every ache and pain has caused us great anxiety.

On the other hand, Dr. P has never worked for a company that could afford to even think about health insurance. Right now his place of employment has five people including the owner.

I'd be even more terrified if we had children.

#2 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:27 AM:

This story also points up how crippling insurance payments can be for a small business. Not having universal government health care is nuts any way you want to look at it.

#3 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:40 AM:

yeppers, in spades. Thank you, sir!

#4 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:47 AM:

Yeah. That could have been me several years ago. I believe that my words were on the order of 'F*ck Payroll, pay the damn health insurance'. That and I was lucky to not have anything major happen in that time. Small business can be terrifying at times.

#5 ::: Doug Faunt ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 01:42 AM:

Another way to get stuck- age out of your parent's health coverage with a "pre-existing condition."
Don't have it, can't get it.

#6 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 01:46 AM:

If we had a functional press, the news would be full of stories like this. There'd be prime time specials about it.

As it stands, even "liberal" MSNBC seems to spend its time wallowing in Stupid Republican stories. Which are entertaining but don't really appeal to anybody but true believers looking for a fix.

* * *

I'm trying to think of how Fox would spin this story. "Well, in Europe a Death Panel would have euthanized the baby. At least he has a chance here!"

* * *

The small business angle is something that Obama should be pressing really, really hard.

#7 ::: Kim M. Clark ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 02:21 AM:

Hi Jim,

While I understand first hand the difficulties of a small business trying to provide health insurance for its employees, it is a tax write off for them. You can either pay the money to the insurance company or pay it in taxes.

Clearly in this case, the employer is in violation of the laws and should be facing not only the repayment of those funds but also pentaties for having misappropriated the funds.

#8 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 03:19 AM:

Kim M Clark @7:

From the looks of this one, it was a cashflow problem rather than (or, more likely, in addition to) a revenue problem.

The problem is that even if the employer is in violation of the laws, his employee cannot be made whole in the eyes of the insurance company. He's lost continuity of care, and now the baby's illness will be a pre-existing condition. The genie, as it were, is out of the bottle.

#9 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 03:45 AM:

Maybe they could sue the employer for the medical costs? It's the employer's fault they don't have coverage, after all. Seems like a civil suit might be the way to go.

#10 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 04:01 AM:

me @8:

Actually, I see that the insurance company will reinstate care if the missed premiums are paid to them. Glad to see it, but if the business has no money it's going to be problematic.

#11 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 04:27 AM:

I can't see any good way out of this mess. There's an argument that the other employee, the one who was responsible for not passing on the payments to the insurance company, is responsible for the losses consequent on their fraud. You can argue that the Ambulance Service is responsible.

I doubt either of them can afford to pay.

And, as abi points out, the Insurance Company doesn't have to do anything.

If somebody did the same in the UK, the government, who sit in the position of the insurance company here, would want their money. I'm not sure how much they would go after the employees of the company which had defaulted on managing the tax payments, but they'd still get their healthcare, at the same price as everyone else.

#12 ::: marek ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 07:08 AM:

Dave @11 In the UK, if the employee had had the deductions made from their wages, the debt is then on the employer to the government. HM Revenue and Customs can be pretty fierce in enforcing its debts - and ultimately these are criminal offences. But as you say, there is not the slightest link between any of that and continuing access to healthcare.

#13 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 08:11 AM:

My wife's company dropped her from their health insurance in January of this year due to rising costs. In defense of them they did raise her hourly rate to help us pay for her going on my health plan, but now they've been told that their insurance costs are going up 50% next year, up to around $750/month per person. It's a very small company with about a dozen employees. Already some of the employees are blaming Obama for the higher premiums.

These kinds of problems aren't just for small businesses, though; my employer is the largest in NC (I'm a state employee) and the premiums for us are not much better than what my wife's company pays, and ours are going up too. We've been told to expect lower coverage and higher premiums for the forseeable future; oh, and for some reason our provider has a no competition contract with the state, and legislators don't seem to have a problem with that...

#14 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 09:26 AM:

I am so glad to live in a state that doesn't allow insurance companies to discriminate against pre-existing conditions. We're also experimenting with mandated universal healthcare, which may or may not break the state budget. I hope not -- I've been unemployed for a long time now, but one of the things that hasn't been a worry is that I'm covered, and will be covered no matter what.

#15 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 11:40 AM:

John --

My 1960-s-bred paranoia says that this, indeed, may be "Obama's fault."

If the insurance company thinks it can create so much unease that it will get more people than the teabaggers afraid.

And, no, I do not feel that such a stratagem is outside the realm of current callousness.

#16 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:09 PM:

I'm with Doug @ 5.

It was a bad week - I was denied again. It's made me consider some rather stupid things in desperation.

I need that bill to pass, with implementation soonest. It's not a matter of paying - it's being able to get it in the first place.

#17 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 12:41 PM:

Kim #7:

The tax writeoff just decreases their taxable income, right? So they get some fraction of it back (between 30-40%), not all of it. And if they're barely breaking even so that they don't owe much taxes, then they don't get anything back. Lots of small businesses are in that position, especially in bad years (say, in the midst of a recession.)

#18 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2009, 05:26 PM:

Scott @ #9 wrote: Maybe they could sue the employer for the medical costs? It's the employer's fault they don't have coverage, after all. Seems like a civil suit might be the way to go.

They probably could sue, and likely win.

But given the employer's financial problems (which led to the nonpayment of insurance) I suspect that there wouldn't be money there to pay the expenses.

#19 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 03:12 AM:

I know someone who got pregnant while on COBRA. Yup, the COBRA expired before the baby arrived. There was absolutely no insurance company that would cover a pregnant woman. This was in Utah some time ago (no idea if this would be different now) and there was no "high risk group" state pool that she could get coverage with. Fortunately, all went well, and the hospital bills for an uncomplicated birth weren't too bad. It helped that she checked herself out of the hospital the same day.

#20 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2009, 10:04 AM:

John L #13: Already some of the employees are blaming Obama for the higher premiums.

I can already hear the official insurance company line on that one: "See what you made us (ahaha, ahah, a--), umm, see what (bwhoho, hoho, heh, snerk), gotta take deep breaths, deep breaths... Ok, ok, ok. See what you made us do (oh, ho ha, ahahahaah) [trails of to chortling incoherence....]"

#21 ::: Jacob Davies ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 02:54 AM:

And someone needs to explain to that company owner that if you aren't paying third parties for contractually-agreed-upon benefits, you aren't making payroll. You are busted. You need to lay people off so they can get new jobs or declare bankruptcy.

The company owner is probably consoling himself that he "made a difficult choice", which is a load of crap; he made someone else's difficult choice for them, without asking, and blew it.

#22 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 07:48 AM:

I remember when MidAmericon irritated a lot of fans by pointing out that larceny of $50 (the cost of an at-the-door membership) was a felony in Missouri, so people who tried to gatecrash would be in trouble. I would think the amount here passes whatever a possibly-more-generous-plus-33-years'-inflation threshhold applies in VT -- or does this just get counted as fraud and treated more gently? Or does the owner get treated with kid gloves because he was trying to save jobs? I suppose just-fraud is likely -- that seems to be the general response to management making off with employees' money -- but my woke-up-too-early temper suggests that a few DAs with the nerve and skills to make felony charges stick, producing jail time instead of just fines, might have a salutary effect on business. Can we have a few comments from Faux News about responsibility?

#23 ::: Annalee Flower Horne ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:43 AM:

It's not a matter of paying - it's being able to get it in the first place.

this^10.

Until this month, I was ineligible for individual insurance because of headaches. I would have happily written the check, but no one would take it from me.

I've been lucky enough to get onto the federal payroll, so now my health insurance is fantastic. I want my friends to have what I have. I want Gregory Malone to have it. I want the small businesses I patronize every day to be able to offer real benefits without committing fraud or going under. I want to be able to smile at random strangers I pass on the street and know that my country won't just throw them away the next time they get sick.

If the rest of the industrialized world can work that one out, I'm pretty sure the country that put a man on the moon can manage a go at it.

#24 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 01:02 PM:

#23: Maybe we can't, because we're not that country, now.

Most of our legislature is owned by campaign contributors (who, in too many cases, such as Max Baucus, are insurance companies). Our newspaper and tv press (which, in the past, was able to exert pressure on the legislature) no longer function independently of the financial interests of the owners.

As far as I can see, the lever to effect health care reform in the U.S. is to effect election campaign reform. Pressing for caps on campaign funds might be a start toward this. Right now, candidates of conscience are forced to play "top dollar" games. Sometimes massive small financial contributions by individuals can counter the propaganda and disinformation spread by large corporations. But mostly, with our current Congress -- it doesn't.

We can try scaring "bought" Congress members into voting for the public interest with massive boycott threats. (And that may be the only option left to us in the immediate future.) But what we really need is an electoral campaign system that allows decent public-spirited candidates to compete with power seekers on a level playing field.

Right now, it seems to me that too much of the health care debate is right where the Republicans want it -- expending time and resources on answering obfuscatory lies. Instead, we need to remove the liars from power.

#25 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 01:08 PM:

Subject-verb agreement, time/location pressure.... I hope the basic thrust of my #24 still gets through.

#26 ::: FungiFromYuggoth ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 02:27 PM:

I suspect that this story isn't getting much play because it isn't news - this sort of thing happens all the time. I recall hearing a similar story about Wellspace, which apparently quietly stopped paying for employee health insurance near the end of its corporate death spiral (courtesy of the Harvard MBAs who took it over). Companies that pull these shenanigans tend to close by locking the doors and not answering their phones, as Wellspace did.

This, of course, puts employer non-payment of health premiums into the special American category of things that don't get reported because they're too common but aren't well known because they don't get reported. That's some catch, that catch-22.

#27 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 03:25 PM:

Lenny @ 24/5: The stone bitch of the matter is that we have a Supreme Court that classes writing a check to a candidate or party as political speech. The only way to effect real reform in election funding is to change the Court or change the Constitution.

#28 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 04:13 PM:

My cousin was a small business owner -- he had a small but really wonderful Italian restaurant. It was not easy financially, and one of the things he skimped on was health insurance for himself. Then he had a massive heart attack and died. He was young, there were plenty of warning signs, and I have no doubt that he'd be alive today if we had universal coverage. Sure, he'd have had to pay for coverage, but so would all the other restauranteurs in the area and it would be a level playing field. And maybe some of them are type 'A' personalities and they should be watching their blood pressure too. What really got me was going to the funeral and seeing all the locals who were so shocked and saddened to see him go. He lived in a very well to do area, which was good for his restaurant business, but I had to wonder how many of them were conservatives who had opposed earlier attempts at health care reform.

#29 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 05:40 PM:

#27: Mark, do you have any cites to reports of a Supreme Court decision that affirm what you mentioned? (I'm not doubting that they made such a ruling, I just don't remember it.)

#30 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 07:14 PM:

Lenny: Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976

While the independent expenditure ceiling thus fails to serve any substantial governmental interest in stemming the reality or appearance of corruption in the electoral process, it heavily burdens core First Amendment expression. For the First Amendment right to "speak one's mind . . . on all public institutions'" includes the right to engage in "`vigorous advocacy' no less than `abstract discussion.'" New York Times Co. v Sullivan, 376 U.S. at 376 U. S. 269, quoting Bridges v. California, 314 U. S. 252, 314 U. S. 270 (1941), and NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. at 371 U. S. 429. Advocacy of the election or defeat of candidates for federal office is no less entitled to protection under the First Amendment than the discussion of political policy generally or advocacy of the passage or defeat of legislation. [Footnote 54] It is argued, however, that the ancillary governmental interest in equalizing the relative ability of individuals and groups to influence the outcome of elections serves to justify the limitation on express advocacy of the election or defeat of candidates imposed by § 608(e)(1)'s expenditure ceiling. ÊBut the concept that government may restrict the speech of some elements of our society in order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment, which was designed "to secure `the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources,'" and "`to assure unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people.'" New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, supra at 376 U. S. 266, 376 U. S. 269, quoting Associated Press v. United States, 326 U. S. 1, 326 U. S. 20 (1945), and Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. at 354 U. S. 484. The First Amendment's protection against governmental abridgment of free expression cannot properly be made to depend on a person's financial ability to engage in public discussion. Cf. Eastern R. Conf. v. Noerr Motors, 365 U. S. 127, 365 U. S. 13 (1961). [Footnote 55]

The Court's decisions in Mills v. Alabama, 384 U. S. 214 (1966), and Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U. S. 241 (1974), held that legislative restrictions on advocacy of the election or defeat of political candidates are wholly at odds with the guarantees of the First Amendment. In Mills, the Court addressed the question whether "a State, consistently with the United States Constitution, can make it a crime for the editor of a daily newspaper to write and publish an editorial on election day urging people to vote a certain way on issues submitted to them."

384 U.S. at 384 U. S. 215 (emphasis in original). We held that "no test of reasonableness can save [such] a state law from invalidation as a violation of the First Amendment." Id. at 384 U. S. 220. Yet the prohibition of election day editorials invalidated in Mills is clearly a lesser intrusion on constitutional freedom than a $1,000 limitation on the amount of money any person or association can spend during an entire election year in advocating the election or defeat of a candidate for public office. More recently, in Tornillo, the Court held that Florida could not constitutionally require a newspaper to make space available for a political candidate to reply to its criticism. Yet, under the Florida statute, every newspaper was free to criticize any candidate as much as it pleased so long as it undertook the modest burden of printing his reply. See 418 U.S. at 418 U. S. 256-257. The legislative restraint involved in Tornillo thus also pales in comparison to the limitations imposed by § 608(e)(1). [Footnote 56]

For the reasons stated, we conclude that § 608(e)(1)'s independent expenditure limitation is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. [emphasis added]

#31 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 12:00 AM:

Thanks Terry -- I've given myself a quick Google education on Buckley vs. Valeo. I guess Mark's comment was pretty much on the nose: there may be no way to stop U.S. elections from being a fund-raising circus until/unless the fundamental composition of the Supreme Court changes. This article was an interesting read. I wonder if there's a way around the "no spending cap" decision by strengthening FCC "equal time" (or "cheap time") rules.

I realize passing that kind of regulation doesn't seem likely in the current U.S. political climate, even if the Supreme Court would let the legislation alone. Maybe we're really stuck with politics dominated by capital until the capital collapses the lifestyles of enough people or some Cory Doctorow-like mechanism materializes to make the capital collapse itself.

#32 ::: chris ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 08:12 AM:

I think what might be possible is a rule cracking down on the use of corporate (i.e. shareholder) funds to support the managers' political agenda without the approval of the shareholders. (Express and in writing, naturally.) That's a clear breach of fiduciary duty, so why do corporate managers keep getting away with it? We need clearer (and stricter) regulations in this area.

Of course, managers of hedge funds and similar holding companies would be required to vote no with their fund's shares unless they had themselves received the written authorization of a majority of *their* shareholders.

#33 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 09:00 AM:

I think what might be possible is a rule cracking down on the use of corporate (i.e. shareholder) funds to support the managers' political agenda without the approval of the shareholders.

I think that is already the law for campaign contributions; corporate funds can't be used for campaigning.

The exception/loophole is for issues not related to campaigns; there, corporations are free to lobby for their interests, as long as it isn't near an election and/or they don't mention a candidate.

#34 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 09:43 AM:

I'll give you a story. There's this freelance copyeditor who of course doesn't have insurance, because there's no way editorial freelancers can afford it. They only get medical care on a semi-emergency basis, when something's obviously goes wrong with them; and they pay retail for it.

So, the guy hasn't had a basic checkup in three years. Last he heard, his blood pressure was normal. Only it isn't; it's gone way up, as he discovers when a blood vessel blows out in his brain, and he has a hemorrhagic stroke in a bad, bad spot.

That's our own Soren a.k.a. Scraps DeSelby, age 44. He's made extraordinary progress toward recovery, but let's be blunt: the stroke was devastating. Most of his right side is still paralyzed. It has also been, and will continue to be, unbelievably expensive. The cost of regular checkups and blood pressure meds, which would have taken a noticeable bite out of Scraps' pre-stroke budget, are trivial compared to the cost of the stroke. Scraps gets government assistance that pays his medical bills because he's now a pauper.

Robert Legault died at his desk while working on a manuscript. I hate to say it, but in his line of work that's not unusual.

Publishing wouldn't work without copyeditors.

The oldest copyeditor I know, one who got old gracefully and then retired, had an in-house job with medical coverage. Jobs like that get rarer every year. The industry now has a shortage of copyeditors who have certain essential skills you can only pick up while working in-house.

Have you noticed how common it's getting for essential full-time jobs to be held by "self-employed independent contractors"?

#35 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 11:01 AM:

In this modern age of the internet, I suppose it's only a matter of time before jobs such as copyediting get outsourced to countries where people speak English and have decent healthcare provision.

I doubt I'd do a good job, but I shall note that my computer is almost as near Teresa's desk as is Patrick's.

#36 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 11:13 AM:

Teresa @ 34--

Ironically, I may be looking for a second job as a freelance copyeditor in order to keep funding my son's medical insurance.

In my copious amount of free time while working the Day Jobbe, of course....Still, there's time for me to keep hoping that maybe, just maybe, the Powers That Be might gain a little sense...

Nah. Not likely.

#37 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 02:35 PM:

Here's a question: If health insurance companies continue as they are, how long until they run out of people to insure? I mean, if you will only insure the most profitable minority and only until they get sick, and meanwhile you want to keep increasing the profits your shareholders see, isn't there a point at which even that profitable minority is going to say, "You want me to pay _what_ for health insurance? No, thanks, I need that money to keep a roof over my head?"

#38 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 03:57 PM:

Teresa (#34) I've been thinking of Soren, and Marilee, more than my usual remembrances just now. A very good friend is ill. He's been a magazine and online journalist and reviewer, popular with the readers, but is now concentrating on writing books — the mss I've read have been excellent, though not SF nor fantasy — so no money around.

For years he's known of and been treated for idiopathic hypertension. Seems to run in the family. Sometimes crazily high BP, despite a good diet and definitely not overweight; rather drug-resistant too. So over time many, many tests looking for causes, trying different drugs. It looked under control with diet, exercise, drugs. All either free, or at least affordable, with Medicare (Aust) and PBS. (Dentistry a different story.)

On the weekend a blood vessel burst in his head. Ambulance straight to our local, excellent, hospital. Tests, scans, operation, ICU, 'nother operation adding 'nother head-tube, ICU, re-scans; 2 visitors at a time. He's still unconscious/under sedation. The medistaff are helpful, kind and fairly communicative. I'm trying to give whatever practical support his partner may need (food, laundry, music he or she might like, books for waiting time, ** any aid suggestions welcome **) and taking spells at bedside.

It's fearful and deeply saddening to see him half-head-shaved, tangled in an ugly, arcane, reticulation of lines and wires and tape and tubes. Fearful for his easy physicality and fierce intelligence; remembering despair and depression that came with my own pain, weakness and struggles with disabilities in my own illnesses. But, thank Whitlam & Co., all Labor governments, and continuing general Australian public opinion, we don't fear financial disaster too, nor being thrown out/unplugged for non-payment.

#39 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 04:30 PM:

The Brutal Truth About America's Health Care
(link credit to Terry Karney, but he hasn't posted it over here yet)

I have to wonder whether any of those people lining up to get desperately-needed medical care that they can't afford to pay for have been among those protesting Obama's "socialized medicine".

#40 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2009, 07:08 PM:

Mez, #38, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I hope he gets better, and I'm glad he won't be financially debilitated.

#41 ::: Rob Rusick spots likely spam @41 ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 09:14 AM:

Ungrammatical phrasing, while the name-URL points to a commercial website. It could barely be considered on topic.

Too bad, I might actually like good info for health insurance in NYS, but I could never trust a company that advertised this way.

#42 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2009, 09:29 AM:

Dave Bell @ 35: I'm certain it's already happening. I work from time to time editing translations from Spanish; my translator and I have taken jobs from Spanish and South American sources with business conducted entirely over the net.

#43 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2009, 12:02 AM:

Follow-up from (#38) and another thread.

Health Update: My chemotherapy continues; unpleasant, so far surviving.
Friend with stroke is conscious! He has some movement on one side, very little on the other. Still tracheostomy & nasogastric feeding, because his swallowing isn't good, but breathing by himself. He seems frustrated at being unable to speak & tiring easily. Both understandable.
I feel helpless & inadequate. Am hoping to be a) healthier later; b) able to help with further rehabilitation. (I put this near this earlier comment as well as in the current Open thread 129.)

#44 ::: Cadbury Moose sights insurance spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2010, 06:25 AM:

The URLs seem a little suspicious to this moose.

#45 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2010, 02:00 PM:

Foolish spammer copied my text from comment 8, too.

Thanks, Moose.

#46 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2010, 02:28 PM:

I live to serve.

(FX: little seated bow)

#47 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2010, 02:55 PM:

And a thing right above this kerfuffle serves to remind me--has anyone heard anything from Mez in a non-ML context since their last post here?

#48 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2010, 03:56 PM:

This moose had a rummage and there were posts up to late November. In one of them, the word "palliative" was used, and I do not think that is a good sign.

Cadbury.

#49 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2010, 09:32 AM:

I have a feeling the cancer killed her. Her last posts before going offline indicated that she expected to be travelling for a while, and then potentially back in hospital for palliative care, as the Moose noted. I looked at her other blogs, and it sounded as though the metastases had occurred in the bone, which is generally terminal stage.

I'd been wondering myself. I'll keep looking for an obit.

#50 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2012, 12:04 PM:

And the scanning back up reminds me of friends now gone.

I think a walk, and some tulips, and a cup of coffee are very much in order.

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