Interesting Reading

When the interests interests aren’t in your best interest

This is an overview of how social service policy (including religions organizations) combined with business practices have impacted my life. First, I will discuss some personal history. I am a 62-year-old gay atheist male. At the time of this update, I have in fact retired as I have come to the conclusion that it is in fact impossible for me to obtain employment that is not subjected to utilization of the disability system.  Considering that throughout it has been utilized in a secretive, back handed way, steeped in bigotry has added to this dour outlook. Read on my dear reader for a tale of age-old gay marginalization 21st century style.

My qualifications throughout are as follows: a BA in computer science, minoring in business, a half dozen graduate classes in computer science and also business. My experience includes retail; retail management; call center customer service; inside sales and general office. I am cognizant of my skill set and never applied to positions that I was not qualified. I do NOT drink or take drugs and have not done so for over 25+ years. For me, the unwarranted and constant utilization of the social service system, which is supposedly to promote self-sufficiency, has resulted in a net income loss of approximately 1 million dollars over the past 30 years. During this time, I have not received any type of government check/deposit, though I have been thwarted when I attempt to obtain any type of accounting of government disbursements. I have applied for, and received Medicaid. With Medicaid I have only requested/utilized clinic appointments and prescription drug coverage.  Any other type of charge on this account is unknown to me, nor has it been discussed. This includes any type of home health aide and/or health advocate.


    Initially, I would like to provide some background from the mid 1990’s. From 1994 onward I was indirectly being steered towards feigning an illness. Why would this be, you may ask?  There are several reasons for this, including: Catholics and a significant proportion of society despise gays and consider homosexuality a psychological disorder, though homosexuality is no longer classified as a mental disorder; there was no drug benefit with Medicare, though experimental drugs were utilized (compassion is chilling sometimes); and most importantly, States and pharma had extensive lawsuits about drug pricing. This period saw the introduction of healthcare reform in an attempt to reign in discriminatory industry practices, the aim being to reduce the practice of denial based on pre-existing conditions. This has, in my opinion, further exacerbated the use of the disability system in an attempt to decrease business costs, resulting in the disability system becoming a risk pool and a dumping ground for the insurance industry. This era also saw the increased portability of Medicare, another cost saver for business. Unfortunately, this has resulted in an inescapable disability trap. The use of permanent/long term disability benefits both business and government, as long term-care, ie-health aides can reduce business costs, and is a low intensity way to blunt the effects of welfare reform which also took effect at this time. This is one of the challenges of the  ACA, as long-term care has proven unworkable. This era also saw increasing outsourcing and privatization of significant portions of government, including to religious organizations through Charitable Choice legislation. Since this period there has been a significant reduction of lawsuits against pharma as states are utilizing HMO’s to have more predictable costs.

How have I gotten here, you may ask? In 1992 I started experiencing a lump in my throat. After being repeatedly told that there was nothing wrong, I (paying cash) went and saw two physicians at ECMC. The first physician, Dr Adams performed an initial screening and provided a referral to Dr. Lee.  This resulted in an oral barium swallow exam. The results from this test showed an x-ray with a growth.  However, this x-ray “disappeared”, and nothing became of the testing. This was finally diagnosed in 2021-details there.

     Mid-1995, after over a decade in retail management with a physically demanding and arduous hourly schedule, I attempted to transition to an office customer service position. Following referrals from friends and associates praising temp to perm assignments, I decided to “give it a go”.  The first referral was to IIMAK, which went well, except that it required a physical. (remember the growth in my throat? – think pre-existing condition here).  So, unfortunately, I ended up temping with another firm, ABC collections, which too went well. I was even at the point of perming.  However, at this point, IIMAK called and lured me back. Little did I know, life had a little surprise for me.  IIMAK was being purchased by Avery Dennison, and I was promptly downsized. This in turn resulted in a field service temp position with NYCE-which again went nowhere, leading me to switch agencies. The new agency, Kozlin Associates, referred me to Tower Group-a Mcgraw Hill subsidiary with AETNA managing their self-insured health plan. Tower was a customs clearance subcontractor for FEDEX(union). At times this work environment may have been considered hostile.  The supervisor would advocate for wearing gloves(knit-dotted)-even while “high-speed” typing as one never knows the hygienics of the other people using common areas(keyboard). But the position did go perm, though only for a short duration. On the upside, I could utilize the law which now allowed continuation of health coverage.  So, I follow the COBRA process and to my surprise, I received notice that I was not enrolled in the health insurance. I was erroneously enrolled in HC with a Pennsylvania company. You’ll never guess-that company didn’t have plans in NY-so I was SOL.

   Not having the success, I anticipated with the temp to perm thing, I decided that good old job search was in order. This resulted in obtaining a menial salaried job with Lake Erie Distributing as a merchandiser.  This position began with typical onboarding, except requiring a “Power of Attorney” in the initial employee package. If this was ever used it was not to my knowledge. The only notable aspect of this employ was that as it proceeded the job processes changed to impede productivity. In the end the owner required trivial tasks which significantly extended the workday. This job was also of short tenure, and the business sold 6 months after.

      Again, following a conventional job search, I replied to a newspaper ad for an office position and “interviewed” at Coordinated Care.  There was no employment through this firm. However, if any service was ever procured with this business, they were procured with absolute duplicity.

   In 1999 The sun appeared to start shining after the abysmal 4 years prior when an offer was received from Teletech-a Verizon(union) outsource. This was a call center job with typical benefits. There was also an incentive program for awarding proficiency. This jobs length was two years, though a mass layoff was announced after 1 ½ years as Verizon had decided to forgo bundling through its competing arm. We were actually Verizon competing against Verizon. With these considerations, I decided to cash in the $1400.00 I had accrued in the incentive program. Oh, the items I had selected–nice! However, upon placing the order, I was informed that the money had already been spent.  I didn’t remember this. Baffled-I requested that the order be investigated, the result being that the items ordered were a vacuum, fan, and other household items and provided the delivery address. Therefore, I perused my belongings, viewing the items in the catalog with the items I owned, and I found no corresponding items.   Furthermore, I drove to the address and found it was in fact a vacant lot. Why I found it odd that several packages would be left in the middle of a lot, I’m uncertain-but I am certain that it seemed either fraudulent or criminal. Now, seeing storm clouds gathering on the horizon-I decided to “lawyer up” to make certain that I was able to obtain cobra, as again the company was self-insured and administered by Aetna.  I carefully selected a boutique Washington firm with a previous IG in the ranks.  During consultation, I proceeded to unfold the information about cobra, and the incentive account incident. I did not speculate that there could be a causal relationship with my earnings for the calendar year, though I did sense that social service/disability may be involved. The firm did successfully transition cobra and I paid $1200.00 to have this accomplished. An interesting coincidence occurred shortly afterwards when Teletech failed to preserve its contract with the postal service, losing it to CSC.

   Determined to use my call center-telephony-cellular and internet skills, I set upon my job search. There would be no way to stop me. Well maybe a phone call.  Why a phone call you may ask? Well, it seems that Verizon wireless took a contract with Teletech at the same location, so all previous employees could get re-hired, but the new position was at a considerable pay cut (25%). This was an interesting proposition for me considering I had a car, mortgage, etc., which made the proposed offer implausible. So, decisions had to be made. With no offers, and no unemployment, as this was nullified by declining Teletech, I decided to broaden my job search to the NYC area-sell the house and meet my challenges head on.

So I fly to NYC, interview and accept a job offer at Preferred Freezer in New Jersey. This was an office customer service position with a starting salary of $32000. Accordingly, the house goes on the market. I pack up and move to Chester NY, giving me a 1 1/4-hour commute-which allowed me an apartment I could afford with a reasonable NYC commute. So work is going well, even though I soon realize that there are considerable differences between municipalities and their social service delivery guidelines. Preposterous, I assure myself. Regular job-regular benefits, this is mere coincidence, convincing myself that there was absolutely no open social service case. Having decided that I made the best decision, I did need to confront the realities that the house wasn’t selling, and an extended period of both rent and mortgage, along with the other bills was not conceivable. Therefore, I pursue the growing necessity of bankruptcy. Well, the idea is great-a fresh start. That I needed. However, I didn’t have the money banked to pay the attorney’s fee-and charging attorney’s fees and then requesting they be discharged is a no-no. What to do? Well DIY-pro sea was the only option. Therefore, I spent considerable time learning the ins and outs of bankruptcy. Unexpectedly, the gas line (1600 bucks) went on the chariot, with the consequential prognosis for the car bleak. Now, this fresh start is looking better and better. With all the paperwork prepared, I submit the bankruptcy papers including a deed in lieu that would allow the lender to take the property back without the formal foreclosure process. The only problem was that when I attended the court hearing to dismiss my debt, the deed in lieu had in fact been removed and to this date I do not know how or why it was removed. Considering the automobile predicament, I decided that NYC was my best option, therefore using the bankruptcy to break my lease in Chester. Again, attempting to start a new chapter, I pack up all my belongings and store them in a beautiful storage facility and trek to NYC.

Here my fresh start begins with my entry into shelter life at the Bond Street center. The accommodations were nice, a blue plastic high back chair to sleep in each night. If you played your cards right, you could even get a piece of wall to lean your head up against! Once settled, I applied for social service, which utilized FEGS to prepare for and initiate job search. This resulted in the successful landing of a menial general clerk position with Art Flag. This position was possibly a union shop-though this information was never provided. The reason I questioned this was that the owner of the company did take me out to lunch at the local union hall at my 6 mos. anniversary. Besides that, I had little interaction with him as he was a cantankerous person with a similar management style. One of his more notable diatribes was when he held up his wedding ring and asked, “doesn’t this mean anything to you?”.  As there was no advancement, I decided to attend classes and seek employment in line with my skill set. Naturally, upon providing notice, he terminated me immediately and challenged unemployment compensation until after the COBRA window had passed, though, I’m certain that this was coincidence.

At this point, I rent a room in the fine municipality of Goshen to further my student loan(only) funded fresh start at Brooklyn College. My intention was to obtain skill and income appropriate full or part-time employment and attend class, with NYC as the target market using its fine network of commuter buses. Once again, zilch-nada-none job search results. Therefore, I applied for social service to gain employment or benefits. As required I went and did job search with Orange County. Was I successful, you may ask? On the last day before enrollment into Medicaid I was given a referral to Blue Cross Blue Shield for a position that had a mandatory start date of next day. I explained that I needed to obtain professional dress. The response to this being that the position started next day-NO exceptions. Considering that the nearest place for any type of charity was Middletown, you guessed it-I was SOL. With this refusal as cause, I received a nice form letter telling me that there were no benefits forthcoming. Well, as that didn’t work as expected, I took things in stride and did what any reasonable person would do with eviction looming on the horizon. I submitted a malfeasance tort(pro sea) citing gay discriminatory practices – with NY state Court of Claims. I can tell you are just trembling with anticipation about the outcome. After verifying receipt-NOTHING. I received no notice and there is no record in the court systems as I can discern. (

All right, so I admit this fresh start thing is a little harder than the sun in the sky, warm summer breeze that I imagined.  Once again, I clean the curb dust off my non-professional attire, and rent a room in Batavia. This time I am certain that a new day was just around the corner. I once again job search my disciplined minimum of 20+ hours a week, once again with no interviews or offers. Please be reminded, I am applying for jobs in my skill set-appropriate salary. Being perplexed by my lack of success, I took a reflective analysis as to what could be hindering me.

After contemplation, one of the first actions taken was to file with Erie County courts, documents to nullify any power of attorney with regard to my father or sister.

     This is where the narrative takes a bizarre twist. Apparently, this action created a quandary, as my father was dead within a week from self-euthanasia. This has resulted in others remarking “that your father laid down for you”. No-my father had a misguided sense of loyalty to his associates. As he had a gambling addiction, he provided much example of what NOT to do. This addiction allowed him to be aligned with the wrong crowd including union bosses, loan sharks, bookies and the troubled church that this group is affiliated with. Of most interesting note is that the last conversation I had with him was about the fact that my sister-in-law did not want me in her house, and she was quite livid. I have known this woman all my life and questioned what had happened. Apparently, interaction with the boutique law firm Mallon & McCool (Catholics) had in fact led to an unrecognized whistleblower suit. Well, the unrecognized whistleblower lawsuit, apparently, ensnared Royal Ahold-parent of Tops friendly markets. My understanding is that co-workers were none too friendly to my sister-in-law, who, after more than a decade with the firm and normal advancement, was forced out. Of note is that Royal Ahold shortly thereafter spun Tops off and has recently filed for bankruptcy. Also noteworthy is that Mallon and McCool had significantly grown in size through involvement in a class action tort for all Federal government Hispanics regarding discrimination. These are the same Hispanics that have allowed the Catholic Church to be the only denomination whose percentage of members has not decreased in the last 40 years.

     And my sister, you may ask—–

My sister has convictions quite different from mine, which is well and good, so long as they aren’t negatively impacting your life. Upon reflection at this point, I didn’t find this so. My sister maintained a close friendship with childhood friend Carol Schwartz (who she may have also worked with at the phone company) who ended up becoming an a-list DC Republican politico.  (I didn’t realize the DC politician angle until after moving to DC). This friendship has, in my opinion, allowed her to help her kids go to the right schools, take the right majors, get the right jobs. One was a job with Anderson (Accenture) and the other was with Lilly. Curiously, the son with Lilly is the brother-in law to Trent Dilfer. But what did strike me as odd was the same unknown undergraduate Trent Dilfer applied and was hired by me at the store I managed.

      Here I would like to give a bit of background on the CEO of Lilly and political action throughout this period. The Lilly CEO during this time was R. Tobias, who was previously the CEO of ATT. After his tenure at Lilly Tobias was the AIDS Czar during the NEOCON period circa 2000. During this era there were several legislative changes. First, there was significant expansion of Charitable Choice, which was to ensure a fair approach to government contracting. The has resulted in a shift of service providers from secular to religious organizations. The legislation also provided that the religious providers could keep their religious content in their programming when accepting funds. The fact that this passed with near unanimous support documents the governments and politicians entrenched symbiotic relationship with religious organizations. This relationship in turn causes government complicity with the inherent problems that the organizations are themselves addressing. The clergy shortage and abuse scandals are notable examples. Finally, this period also saw the ushering in of the unfunded Medicare drug benefit.

   On a personal level, I have concerns on what would have prompted my family’s involvement with a disability claim, which I have been vociferous about. I find it personally reprehensible that the disability system that was used in the past as a way to marginalize gays is still used as such to this day. It seems odd that the same welfare reform provisions that were to end the perpetual nature of enablement have in effect ignored the abuse of the disability system that I seem to experience. The way that disability can easily renew appears counter to the intent being designed for a short-term use to carry one through an incident. The law was not established as a go to for any industry or religious practice, no matter what the reasoning. Using long-term care without respect of the patient is not only demeaning, I find no rationalization for using funds counter to their intended reason-this is now a back door Universal Basic Income.  Additionally, the law clearly stipulates that any type of proxy established be the least intrusive on the person and the most quickly removed – none of which I’ve found. This has created a disability trap as there is scads of money involved, which apparently is the consideration, not the needs or wants of the recipient.  In my opinion, a major disappointment as a citizen and a taxpayer.

     With these facts in mind, I decided to scrutinize my government records. Therefore, I filed Freedom of Information Act requests-on myself, as I wanted to obtain an accounting of the funds and actions taken with my SSN regarding the disability system. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you have surmised, I got nothing and liked it. In the meantime, I continued seeking employment in Batavia for another year until, you guessed it, the inheritance ran out. Well, well, well – what to do? I decided that if I didn’t find work after a year and a half, it wasn’t going to happen in Batavia. Therefore, I carefully reflected upon the factors that would improve my quality of life and likelihood of success:  a climate more to my liking; a low unemployment rate; less likely for me to encounter the headwinds that have precluded me from applicable employment. I decided I knew just the place.  Where you may ask would this panacea be?

With optimism in my mind and the few remaining bucks in my pocket, I attempt a new beginning one more time. Upon arrival in DC I start at CCNV-one of the District shelters, and promptly enroll in Medicaid and housing. Again, I job search 20+ hours a week at DC DOES-3% area unemployment-how sweet is that! Well-not sweet enough, as after 6 months I find myself being tossed to the curb, as once again job search in my skill set has provided nothing. Consequently, I become a resident at one of the other city shelters-which provides a bed at night. Now I am really out of money-but on the flip side- the DBL system can be used with hand-outs galore. In another attempt to obtain relevant employ, I utilized the job referral facility at the shelter, which proved fruitless as I was again referred to only menial jobs unrelated to my skill set. During this time, I was volunteering at the shelter, as in the good old days-a preponderance of the shelter staffing was volunteer. Now I’m sure you are wondering what was my position? None other than janitorial. What may you ask is the difference between cleaning for one and 350 people? No difference-except for the occasion when someone with serious mental issues, who isn’t receiving proper treatment, wipes feces all over the place. Meanwhile, I was working with the district DOES to enroll in taxpayer sponsored training programs. After playing ping-pong with the emails, nothing came of this, which left a rather bad taste in my mouth. As I was in a volunteering frame of mind, I continued with another volunteer stint at ADA. The reason I had chosen this NGO was that it was championing health care reform. To this day, I am still convinced, that part of my problem is with the US healthcare system. It simply will not instill simple reform to have insurers function reasonably within their industry. Rather, it tolerates outlandish industry practices. In 2020 the US healthcare market is the same as 1984, with the public side a convoluted behemoth of overly complex bureaucratic systems. In order to obtain work, I contacted another social service provider, SOME, who along with another faith-based NGO Jubilee Jobs provided me with interviews. Unfortunately, this once again was the same system that uses ALL government programs to land ANY job. This is another boon for business, which frequently receives $2400 to place people. The issue is that the placements often ignore skill set and compensation conforms to the guidelines of government programs-which perpetuates the unending cycle. This in turn lead to a referral to Heller’s Bakery………. The position-oh what promise-a supervisory position-though it started at minimum wage and remained near that level. This was a small family-owned bakery that had a small menu that was a breakfast/lunch cafe. Upon taking the position I found that any attempt to exercise any type of supervisory oversight was quickly curtailed. So, I was basically counter help. However, I was able to pay back the student loans that I had incurred while in Goshen. I also enjoyed the splendor of a 325 sq ft apartment which came with an ample supply of roaches and mice. During this time my budget was over 55% for rent and utilities; 8% for transit; 10% groceries; 6% for student loans; 21% taxes. Weekly discretionary income-$7.50. Moreover, this job also fell into the social security substantial gainful activity levels guidelines (i.e. in 2012 – $1010.00/mo.) once rent was removed. I cannot state what governmental funds/programs were utilized, as I am unable to obtain these records. (more on this later). After several years at this position, I decided in my infinite wisdom to once again attempt a bucket list item, though I knew it would never give me any benefit-as my employment history demonstrates. I went back to grad school. Having learned from several years of student loan payments, I paid for all classes up front with cash. This was all well and good-classes informative, grades my normal B’s-until…. until what are you asking? Until I allowed my bank balance to exceed the threshold for the social service guidelines apparently. Interestingly, at this time I was politely issued a failing grade, in my opinion to send me a message that my actions were intolerable. Well, I received the message and never took another class with APUS. This is one bucket list item that will NEVER be completed. Meanwhile the bakery has slowly seen sales erosion due to development and competition. Luckily, a Hollywood movie filmed there, featuring Russell Crow, lead to what I understand to be a partnership that allowed the bakery to remain operational until its closure due to the lease renewal and increasing labor costs from an impending minimum wage increase. This position lasted 7 years. Having dusted off and updated my resume with a solid work history-off I went. The dreams in my head-whew! Finally, the job my skill set warranted was upon me. Where was this at? Garnier Thiebaut – a fine French linen manufacturer which catered to the hospitality industry. Now if you’re into the title type thing, my title was-ready? Regional Sales Manager. There was little of note with this position as it was short tenured, having been struck by an unexplained debilitating constipation that caused excruciating pain. Fortunately, this happened when my earnings were just under the Medicaid threshold-so my request to cancel the coverage never took place. Phew! I was also fortunate in that it cleared as quickly as onset and remains a mystery to this day! (I didn’t elect for the employer sponsored HC) At this point I am severely discouraged. (Please understand the difference between discouraged and any other malady, as I would not want to get the DBL overseers/shrinks into a frenzy). I cannot find a reasonable way forward to extricate myself from the dysfunctional American social service policy and the waste associated with it. Having no solution forthcoming, I decide that life in the shelter system is the solution rather than the repeated cycle of the American welfare trap. Meanwhile, I slowly begin to develop health problems. So, after 30 years of relentless battle with the healthcare/insurance system-I was to need medical care. First, I begin to notice that I have a halo surrounding one of my eyes, and problems with my peripheral vision. Secondly, I begin to notice that one arm is becoming immobile. Fortunately, in February I received the notice from the District that they had not cancelled my Medicaid as requested, so an appointment could be made. Now this was America in action-no rationed HC here. I was to experience first-hand our magnificent system. After diagnosis from a primary care physician, I received referrals for frozen shoulder and eye problems. The frozen shoulder treatment begins within a month-but the eye clinic-a 4 month wait! So, while waiting, I pack up all possessions and move back to the shelter system-part of the American social service solution. On examination for my eye problem—Drumroll…glaucoma-you guessed it. On the positive side, one eye is unaffected, though the other eye lost 78% vision. Simultaneously, I finish rehab with full use of my arm and bring the glaucoma under control. Well now what? Well, everyone has to make ’em sometime. Like a fool I decide that if I control all the variables, make sure everyone understands that I want off the dole, I’ll return to work. No exceptions. Self-sufficiency. Snickering aren’t you-you have the right, as I was a fool. So, I send out my applications-specific rate-40 full-time hours-the whole spiel. Can’t fail, right? Guess again. Somehow there was a communication gap when I interviewed and accepted the offer from Nordstrom. I begin the position with total hours clocking in as discussed, enroll in the self-insured HC managed by Aetna to begin at 90 days. As the original schedule was only days, I didn’t have to enter the “work program ” at Catholic Charities. However, as the schedules unfolded, I had to enter the work program-which I thought would be a non-event in my delusional mind. Unfortunately, when I explained that I was NOT going to school, as the rate was sufficient for rent/HC provided, there was no reason to list that I was to attend classes. During this dialogue the alarm bells started going off, as the case manager told me that he was a busy man and there was no need to read what I was signing. It was also pointed out that if the papers weren’t signed-No work bed-or kiss that job of yours good-bye. You got it-I signed the papers. Therefore, I requested copies of the social service docs I was agreeing to, the reply being that they were proprietary internal documents. So much for government transparency extending to government contractors. Subsequently, I look for, and find an apartment-this with a 30% housing cap to have a plausible budget which would include discretionary funds. Having found one, I sign the lease. Oh, the clouds – they were a lifting… Not so fast. This brings us to January when hours get cut at Nordstrom-which I expected-but what I didn’t expect was when I started to look for temp jobs to supplement my income to the expected salary level, “being sent another message”. Another message?? It seems when I was out talking to recruiting firms the online Nordstrom schedule, but not the posted paper schedule changed without notification. Consequently, twice I was-no call-no show. Upon reprimand, I explained that I wasn’t told that I had on call employ, allowing for schedule changes at any time. The response was that I had to have flexibility. Please note that in the intro video Nordstrom touts how great they are as a second job! It is possible this is due to the social service calendar year having a January review, but I am not certain of this. With these events in mind, I realize that Nordstrom isn’t the long-term solution I thought. But I just signed the lease-remember? What to do? First thing I DIDN’T do was re-enroll in the HC plan which had re-enrollment in the month of January to begin in March. I instead attempt to enroll in ACA to have insurance. However, I was unable to enroll in ACA in Feb as Medicaid was in place. This should have ended due to HC at Nordstrom – to which notice was provided. I therefore cancelled DC Medicaid. Again, when I attempt to enroll in ACA, being told that the system would not release my SSN to allow enrollment until March, after open enrollment. With these facts in mind, I decided that I would pay cash for meds and doctor visits until I had a new position. Thereafter, I spent every non-scheduled work hour job searching retail and or retail management jobs that would provide with the hours and salary that were initially expected. I was getting interviews-but I was not receiving offers. To my surprise, I was continually being billed for the HC at Nordstrom. HC that I NEVER enrolled in. Interesting, as all my medical and prescription bills-several thousand dollars-were paid for with cash. NO insurance used. Oh, those strange unexplained mysteries of life! If this insurance was ever used-it was fraudulently. Upon expiration of the original lease, I decide that the increasing rent, with the health care dilemma, it was time for me to part ways with Nordstrom

Once again, I applied for Medicaid [Dec 2017], you know, the whole glaucoma thing. During the application process I explained that again costs with rent were escalating – making the income provided by Nordstrom unworkable. Per the DC agent-you need to have housing. I took this advice and I proceeded with the housing assessment through the shelter, which I had returned to. During the assessment I explained to the case manager that I had no intention of repeating the past process – which has continually failed me. I was under no circumstance returning to college or training. I was also vociferous that there was absolutely no aide or long term-care justification. With these things in mind-I decided that I would look for part-time employment(semi-retired) of 20-24 hours per week as available per DC Medicaid under the ACA, and available only days-to avoid the restrictions of the work program. Quick, my dear readers guess what happened next? A message you ask? Correct-apparently the long-term care thing is an entitlement, and the ACA is taboo. I had a person claim that I was harassing them. Really, I said. Please provide me with all the salacious details. I am still waiting. I also have not heard of any of the other 27 people in the dorm collaborating these claims, nor the supporting video documentation from the 2 security cameras in the dorm. Here I will elaborate as I “feel” it is required. First- This appears an attempt to besmirch me due to the fact that I don’t agree with the policies that are in place and their utilization. The #metoo movement, while attempting to give respect to others, is convenient for the church as it allows for it to reduce the gravity of its pedophilia problem. Second, the church has a conflict of interest with regard to the shelters and its clergy shortage. It appears that its desperation to fill the ranks has spilled into its business interests. Not me – no thanks. It is worth noting that 15-50% of its clergy is gay. Considering that in the general population homosexuality is underestimated because of stigma-it is more than likely that this number is also underestimated. Please remember, as I stated before-the disability system has been used since its inception to marginalize gays. The disability system also allows for the use of long-term care and the benefits themselves awarded as patronage. Keep in mind that the Catholic church is responsible for 50-60 billion of the social service dollars awarded annually. In the US, Catholic Charities has 60% of its annual budget coming from the US taxpayer. Rome also receives 60% of its annual funding from the US. As for the ACA-the long-term care coverage was never workable-strike one. Strike two – the Catholic church operates hospitals and is a major player in healthcare. Yes, this is all about money. For the last decade the Catholic church, which has claimed to be a proponent of universal coverage, has been silent on the ACA-also disparaging the contraceptive coverage through litigation. Lastly, the Catholic Church was a vocal opponent of welfare reform. 

Another problem was on the horizon……. Did you know that you have only 3 years to file a tax return on which you are due a refund? You are. At this point [Nov 2018] I filed my 2015 taxes as time was running out. Well in 2015 the District enacted a tax break for low earners. Great for me-I’m always a low earner. So, I claim this deduction. You know that money was burning a hole in my pocket. Guess what. I won’t be buying new jeans with that money, as I ain’t gettin’ it. After receiving notice of removal of the credit, I promptly requested an explanation. The response to this inquiry was a receipt for my taxes, but it never answered the question. Consequently, upon perusing the internet one requirement is eligibility for EIWC -but this counts disability income. So, the disability income that I never see, I guess, has precluded me from this. Keep in mind that NOBODY to date has discussed disability with me-NOBODY. These facts in turn prompt me to do a FOIA to again retrieve my records for all social service aspects. So again, Social Security replies that I should request file records-I send back a reply stating that I’m interested in all historical disbursements, and that is NOT in the file. There has been no reply. I’m still waiting on housing. On the bright side – they renewed my Medicaid-so this blindness thing isn’t on the horizon. But they have now stipulated that the earnings level is 138% instead of 200%-though nobody can explain why. (This is the same income level I had for 7 years at the bakery). With the renewal of Medicaid in order to make certain that there would be no services requested the following were done: all physicians that I interact with were provided a cease-and-desist order specifying that there were to be no further home health requests. Furthermore, the Medicaid HMO was sent a certified letter that any bills paid by that business would be considered fraudulent and the charges to be recovered for the taxpayer coffers.  [Doc 1] [Doc-Medstar]

About my convictions and decisions………………… On June 18,2019 while walking to SOME’s for lunch while walking along the curb a youth had passed on my left. Apparently, I was in the process of spitting on the street (from a cold) when I turned at the corner, I was confronted by a woman who stated that her son had told her I tried to “spit on him” I explained the situation and explained that she should check the street to confirm the veracity of the story. Upon this she re-questioned the youth. At this point I pointed to the youth and stated that he should not lie. This caused the woman to viciously attack me in the vicinity of 6 cameras and a yellow jacket private police officer-before being pulled off by her acquaintance. I therefore filed an assault report with DC police, as I saw the possibility for future encounters. I was told that follow-up would be the next day. Subsequently, I was told that it could be 3-5 days. Well, it appears that tomorrow never comes, as I’m still waiting. Uncertain as to this person’s motive I would like to clarify a bit from my past. My mother lived in a public housing project for several years while my father was in WWII. She made quite certain that her off-spring were cognizant of others’ circumstances in all regards. Dis-respect was not tolerated. These lessons I carried with me when making decisions to accept employment at several inner-city locations where neighborhood scout rated 9/out of 10 as most dangerous for crime. When others wouldn’t I did. Not safe inside some glass enclosed tower-on the streets in delivery vehicles. I worked in these locations for over 10 years. In this time, I received NO coaching or negative reviews about treatment of others. NONE.   For me, people are people. PERIOD. I take offense to the fact that I have to keep defending my character. I didn’t make these rules.

[2020] A new year, optimism abounds, however the same irregularities soon begin.  Towards the end of January, I ran low on latanoprost – no biggie – call the pharmacy and get a refill.  However, for the 3rd time (all different Docs/pharmacies) this does not happen after repeated attempts by both myself and the pharmacy.  Previously, I went in person to pick up a paper Rx which for some odd reason always solves the problem, but this time I let the Rx run out and was intentionally out of the drug as no logical explanation was available.  (Only 3 weeks as I had a Doc Appt. in Feb).  My only guess being that as the New Year caused all tax docs to show DC – billing of services would somehow be complicated. Also unusual, the tax return and Stimulus for COVID were significantly delayed, though some of this is attributable to COVID

Notably, as Covid caused for consistent occupancy of the shelters it is also my guess that the postings [Doc-clean]  [Doc-pests] were in fact related to IRS policy that moves are considered permanent after 9 months.  Again, this could be a complication for billing of services. Also of note was the mandate [Doc-census] requiring occupants to have Catholic Charities fill out Census forms, which they did (a one-page rapid form), but somehow, I ended up being registered to vote, when I did NOT want to be, as I soon received a ballot. Funny how this idea of residency works. It is quite hypocritical on the part of DC as they have a significant number of buses with exterior billboards encouraging people to report student residency fraud.

And then there’s COVID.

 Towards the end of February one day while jogging (done for the necessary benefits and also to keep the good cholesterol high which is keeping the bad cholesterol in check.) I felt off- slightly warm, shortness of breath- which I attributed to either a 24-hour bug or mild flu (I always get the flu vaccine-the whole herd mentality). Well, surprisingly these were Covid symptoms which I discovered when the posters were posted mid-March.  Shortly thereafter when screening began, I disclosed that I experienced the symptoms in late Feb. Then at the end of April when widespread testing began, testing returned positive. (possibly from dead virus-as the only symptoms experienced were the aforementioned). This resulted in the typical quarantine. This was nice-10 days in a hotel room, then returning to the shelter. 

The lock down definitely had winners and losers as union construction jobs were exempt and some small businesses were left to operate when classified as non-essential. (if due to ignorance-I’m unsure). But this did allow for laundry to be done, as it was classified as non-essential. 

With regard to shelter life the realities of the number of residents and the square footage made social distancing impossible-but masks were mandated in the building rather late in the game-though there was the availability issue of ppe. (Unless personal cloth ones were made).  Surprisingly the spread could have been a lot worse, but the nature of the situation still made it precarious. 

Realizing that housing would be impacted for the near future – I once again began to look for a part-time semi-retired retail position. Success was had when hired by Marshalls as a Covid Greeter/Counter.  Hours were specified to allow for check-in at the shelter and the schedule has been in accordance. The DC government and three insurers were notified that this would allow for DC Medicaid only-with no other services. No reason for dual eligibility. This also coincided with the switching of all medical providers as all my 2020 appointments were canceled except for 2 ophthalmology appointments, the last in which I was dumped without my input. However, the 25-year wait is over, and I finally have a diagnosis for the lump in my throat. [My photography skills are lacking-so I won’t be quitting my day job]. Ready? The fancy name is Globus pharyngis and it is caused by LPR. This was diagnosed during a swallow exam. Thank you very much. Apparently, the folly of youth (too many spicy foods, too much carbonated beverage with accompanying cigarettes, unhealthy consumption habits, etc.) caused my esophageal sphincter to malfunction, and is still malfunctioning.

The dietary modifications that were possible, were made accordingly, which alleviated some symptoms. 

IRS – I end up submitting estimated return for 2017 as Nordstrom didn’t provide a W4 though a forward was in place with the USPS. Odd. Therefore, I submit estimated returns explaining the situation and figuring they would correct the remittance accordingly. Well DC issued a check on the remitted estimated data, which struck me as odd considering they use reporting of earnings for all eligibility, and I haven’t heard from the IRS. 

[2021] Another year of waiting for housing while doing the covid dance. This included re-organizing the building to better control the spacing of individuals, which resulted in shifting to a new dorm. However, this dorm was consistently warmer than the previous (average 85 degrees), which does wonders for your health when attempting to control your chronic conditions. Towards the end of the year eye pressures became elevated which resulted in another surgery and additional daily medications at the start of 2022.

[2022] After providing a letter stating that CC was not authorized to act on my behalf, I received a call into the CC office stating that I should contact another non-profit NGO in order to liaise with social security in order to keep the tap open with the reason being glaucoma.  [This however would not fly as glaucoma is actually based on your good eye]. Further, I was told housing is not awarded to low-income individuals, there is a disability requirement. This is quite contrary to the fact that the entitlement tap was NEVER closed – which cannot be verified-as the government won’t give my records. However, an assumed bright spot occurred when I was notified by mail that Carmel Plaza was to begin final processing of my housing application where I once again specified no aides or companion assistance.  NOTE income basis again 138%   But to my dismay, the housing did finalize, and I am finally housed. (4 ½ years) Upon notifying DC DHS of my address as required by Medicaid [Doc] another saga began in the refusal of privately provided supportive services. This resulted in contact from a homeless agency I’ve never been affiliated with, and an on-going dance regarding delivery of services in a residential setting. [Doc-Miriam]

As there was increased availability, I was able to increase my hours at Marshall’s, though, as my hours were only averaging 12 at the beginning of the year once again at year end, my yearly earnings came in at 138%. However, there were a few highlights, including an increase in hiking, one of which was a weekend, again on the eastern shore. This did also allow me to “see how the others live” with my first UBER! This weekend did include trails, (though not too helpful staff at the parks), a fine kayaking experience, and was culminated by an enjoyable at Rehoboth beach. And then there was healthcare v 23.0. Once again American healthcare did disappoint. As the pressure in my eye was consistently in the borderline range, we had drive through surgery episode 2. This apparently was a failure as a new medication was added, which caused severe side effects resulting in it being removed. The solution: Real Surgery!   Trabelectomy, which is where they punch a hole in your eye. Here Kudos are due to the doc, as this apparently has been a success though it certainly did not require any type of assistance. -think aides.

But once again I ran into problems with transportation. How could transportation be a problem in the dc city limits? As you are given anesthesia hospitals require that you be released to someone-you know the liability thing. Now here I contacted many sources including DC center for the aging and AARP-all of which had no recommendations. Finally contacting many personal assistant companies [avoiding home care companies, for the obvious reasons]. I did find several that provide the service, though amazingly, none would sign on the dotted line though given ample notice. However, I was referred to one company that specialized in medical transportation tailored for seniors. [NOT] surprisingly I was not given a receipt for this though paid for in cash. if this is in part due to the coverage by Medicare, I am uncertain.

But, As I said, transportation has become a recurring problem, I assume due to billing through Medicare. on a previous occasion I had to have a colonoscopy’s, which was performed without anesthesia as I didn’t have it arranged. Furthermore, I could not receive the receipt for the procedure itself, though requested.

[2023] Once again January brings around the usual annoyance when attempting to fill prescriptions. Once again insurer and physician have to be contacted when an ample supply of refills are available.

Spartan. What’s Spartan?
Well once again I decide to increase my earnings above the 138% max by obtaining new employment. This begins with a new offer from Capital Concierge where I was hired as part of the on-call pool as they have either full time 40 hours or weekends for 16, Thus I decide to keep BOTH jobs. Well, this year Marshalls didn’t cut hours to 10-15 a week as in the previous 2. This however posed a new problem as now my earnings were to exceed the earnings threshold imposed for dc Medicaid. Decision time. As there was an expectation to fill shifts when available with capital, I decided that I would likely run into this problem going forward, I left their employment, though I had spent most of my earnings on clothing to satisfy the dress code.
So back to job search, Where I am finding very little willingness to hire over 20 hours in any industry unless full time. [So much for work-force flexibility and a tight labor market.] Unsurprisingly for the first time this year my hours are now averaging 12 a week in the second quarter at Marshall’s. [Perhaps to get yearly earnings in line?]

So I again continue job searching until I receive a call for an inside customer service job with Spartan. Once begun, the plumbing hvac industry exemplifies what healthy competitive, non-consolidated sectors look like, while also reinforcing my lifelong distaste for owning my own business.

So here we go again with DC Medicaid. I notify DC Medicaid of the information[Doc] specifying intention. Shortly thereafter I’m notified by VM to notify them about renewal.  I sent the application. I waited. Well, as happens frequently the mail is not scanned received [certified]. We’ll I send a second copy again which is not scanned received[certified]. Finally, I fax the letter and application to their office. The result. Nothing. Not only did I not receive any type of correspondence regarding approval, denial, more info needed, I never received the paper application that was supposed to be sent.
Consequently, I Ran out of both latroprobt and dorzolomide by August. Then the ongoing headaches began. This was unusual as I never get headaches, especially one that last over 9 months and is unaffected by Motrin. Moreover, this apparent lack of coverage resulted in the cancellation of all doctor appointments including dental. Slowly eyesight began eroding with current optical prescription useless.

Beginning in October, payroll was paid erratically with handwritten checks rather than going through the payroll company, for no apparent business reason. The concerning issues with this include: First, tax remittance was made prior to payroll with the corresponding paystub never provided. This again is another coincidence where all bank reporting occurred Sept 30 indicating address in DC. Secondly, year-end reporting was in-accurate resulting in under reporting of wages to the IRS. [Doc] This was reported.

This failure to provide stubs was also frowned upon for my housing renewal. The hypocrisy is incredible as this fell onto me for a deficiency that was reported for an action by another that was outside the law.

The handwritten checks without reporting taxes continued into January. Now, as in the shelter, and possibly still, the annual review is done by DHS for renewal of disability and non-MAGI Medicaid.  Therefore, when looking at real-time employer data and tax returns, all the data was in-accurate to base decisions. The fact that I reported these discrepancies to DC tax is probably irrelevant.

Not surprisingly, Blue Cross & Blue Shield (Spartans HC) possibly had Spartan give me a form to sign stating that I wasn’t covered. No problem, the reason I took the job was because part-time employees weren’t provided hc. [This was probably needed for the afore mentioned review to keep the Medicare + long term care taps open. [Like it ever closes]

[The fact that there is actually no concern for my health, or the purpose of services being authorized, is boggling because it certainly is not patient centered, and it certainly adversely affects my quality of life]

Then, miraculously, at the end of February, nearly all tax payments were made. 2 weeks were even duplicated, resulting in in-accurate year end totals again.

So, once again with storm clouds gathering, I remit taxes explaining that the information was in-correct. [ doc]

So here we are with having no known insurance and it’s time to remit the annual paperwork to DC DMV in order to keep my license, the decision was made surrender my license as I had no other option as the glaucoma was going untreated. Another ding for quality of life. [Doc]

As I have realized that American bigotry is out of control, and the marginalization of this gay man would never improve, I filed for Social Security Early retirement. Upon entry to the office they scheduled a later appointment and told me to go on-line to obtain the statement, as it could no longer be done at the office. At this point I gave Spartan my notice. 35+ years of the terror of the US disability system and the secrecy of business and government is enough for me. You can obtain your labor elsewhere-thank you.

It was also time to re-establish health care and I notified my apartment that I would pay the current rent throughout, noting what the expected income would be. It will also be dependent on what is replied from DC government as on the remitted correspondence to DC Medicaid I specified that if Non-MAGI Medicaid is used, please provide me with the trust information that should exist that corresponds to using disability and long-term care. This [document] also specifies that any long-term care should be provided through an assistive living facility because if services are being paid for, they should be rendered.

Keep tuned-I’m certain that this unending zeal of making an ass of me has more surprises coming.

I have attempted to explain how for me the social service system has in fact been a welfare trap. I have attempted to explain that my family was involvement for reasons that I consider bigoted and beneficial to others. Worst of all, I have not been provided any information from any source about this, while being unable to obtain corresponding records. The DBL system was established with good intention-however, it has in fact resulted in a system that restricts a person’s full potential as the government is ignoring or complicit with the internal political whims of its subcontractors and its endless coddling of business. Let me be clear here. I am pro-business. I am also pro-market. But the current system is close to, if not collusive. The present solution where insurers are receiving double premiums for coverage, and unauthorized provision of services, seems excessive. The cooperation between the various players certainly does not resemble free-markets. I, and others, are being used solely as vessels to get cash out of the system. All companies should operate on a level playing field with other American companies. I have ridden through wage stagnation for several decades and have understood that this was in fact lifting many boats around the globe-this I agree with. I certainly do NOT agree with a bigoted policy, cloaked in self-serving compassion, that affects me specifically-especially when my objections and desires are ignored. Repugnant. Government has to be more accountable for its actions. People should be provided an explanation of what actions are to be taken and records provided when requested. These actions should offer a clear path to self-sufficiency, in the event that the job in fact does not attain this. Referrals should also correspond better to qualifications, rather than incessantly starting at minimum wage, while beneficial to the various interests involved, only perpetuates the problem. The system needs to be more results oriented with better follow-up. I find the lack of accountability personally troubling. If the government is in fact interested in controlling fraud, waste, and abuse, personal records should be freely available. As a taxpayer I wonder who the government is operating for. Sub-contractors are the rage-great-but they are contracted to operate within society’s goals. These should not be superseded due to its own agenda.