Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gov. Tim Pawlenty Can Eat My Undies!!

I'd have him kiss my ass, but that's a bit too erotic for the likes of him!

I just wasted my precious afternoon on the phone with MNCARE, our state's health insurance pool for the uninsured. Our yearly evaluation was the middle of September. Today I was informed that L and I were no longer eligible because we have too many assets. Z would continue to be covered for $40/month, as he is under 18.

MNCARE is a wonderful system, and has been operating in the black since it's inception. Last year Gov. Pawlenty took it upon himself to appropriate(steal) MNCARE's funds to balance the state's budget. This forced MNCARE to raise it's eligibility requirements and knocked many people out of the program. At last count over 30 people have died as a direct result of losing their coverage.

As a result of Pawlenty's thievery, we can now have only $20,000 in assets. This includes our $800 savings account, $5000 in savings bonds, $700 for our 14 yr old second vehicle, $3000 for our 8 yr old pop-up camper, and $14,000 cash value in the whole life insurance policies that L and I have been paying on for 20 yrs. According to my calculations, this puts us over by $3500. According to MNCARE, we're over by $1500. OK, they must have given us the benefit of the doubt somewhere.

Keep in mind that our combined yearly gross income is $35,000(yes, this includes my tips). We live in a depressed area(I plan on posting on this at a later date) and are able to live quite cheaply. Now we're being penalized for living within our income and managing to squirrel away a few thousand in savings. We don't have an IRA (which counts as an asset too) and know that we will never be able to fully retire. According to Social Security, if we continue making what we do now, we will be eligible for $700/month apiece at age 65(66 1/2 for me). I'm a genius with our household budget, but we'd never make it on $1400/month.

The MNCARE worker told me that we'd be reinstated if our assets decreased by $1500. No problem, I told them. The bank closes in 30 min and I'm closing our savings account and cashing in some savings bonds. THEN I'm going on a shopping spree. I'm going to buy all the things I've been scrimping on for the last 28 yrs! By the end of the day we're going to have all new sheets, towels, blankets, winter jackets and a new 8 hp snowblower(to replace the 14 yr old, 5 hp snowblower that we've been holding together with baling wire).

I made the trip to the bank. I closed the savings account and cashed in 2 bonds. We now have $2555.55 in an envelope in my underwear drawer. I didn't go on that shopping spree. I plan on having my Dad purchase bonds in his name, with me as the beneficiary. MNCARE is satisfied and we're reinstated. In the future, I guess I'll be burying any extra money we have in ziploc bags in the back yard.

Pawlenty's campaign promise was to not raise state taxes. He has kept his promise by drastically cutting state funding of such frivolous things as schools and local fire and police departments. As a result, city and county property taxes have skyrocketed and MNCARE has drastically reduced it's enrollees. By the way, Pawlenty hired an architect to develop plans for a state funded professional football and baseball stadium. We all know that professional sports are much more important than the 30 lives that have been lost!

27 Comments:

At 11/10/2005 6:39 PM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Jeebus, I hate to hear things like that. It boggles my mind that people who actually need help cannot get it because the government feels that it is acceptable to take funds from those programs that benefit people in need. GRRRR!

 
At 11/10/2005 7:23 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Yeah, Notta, my motto has always been "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Then this idiot goes and breaks it!

 
At 11/10/2005 7:28 PM, Blogger FunkyB said...

You know, that just makes me sick. Work hard, live within your means, get screwed.

Bury the money -- bury it deep, bury it often. Bastards.

 
At 11/10/2005 8:03 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

There are so many examples of how the poor are treated like garbage in our country. One thing it definitely shows is that we're not encouraged to save. The Chinese own a big chunk of this country because they invest and save while we fritter our money (well some do) rather than saving.

Glad you got your healthcare back.

 
At 11/10/2005 8:25 PM, Blogger --R said...

Oh. My. God. What an awful, awful thing to have to do! My jaw actually dropped as I read your post. Absolutely ridiculous. I'm so, so glad that you were able to resolve it with very little harm done. But still. It shouldn't have come to that.

 
At 11/10/2005 9:35 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

OMG Tshsmom, I can't believe the gall of the man. People have DIED and this is still going on? Is there an ombudsman or state auditor that can take some action?

GrRRRR


Bridg

p.s. VERY glad you're reinstated!!

 
At 11/11/2005 1:21 AM, Blogger SME said...

Figures. Here Ralph Klein brags about our debt-free province and pledges $400 to every citizen, then takes away certain widows' pensions the same week.

 
At 11/11/2005 1:49 PM, Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Oh man. That's silly. My preganant girlfriend just tried to apply for some state funding for pregnant/nursing moms and she missed the cut off by 50.00 $
I know how the system works and so do you, apparently. Too bad.
Football Stadium?
*rolling eyes*
Some men don't grow up, they just get bigger.

 
At 11/11/2005 2:58 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

It happens ALL the time, doesn't it Robin?

Squirl, oriental cultures seem to be a lot better at that than ours. Instant gratification is our society's credo.

-r, I KNOW! I'm still livid! We're penalized for being responsible. ARGHH!

Bridg, the legislature voted for his budget, including this travesty. 9 of the people that died were on dialysis!

SME, remember what I said when Ventura was handing out money to every household? Within 2 yrs our excess state money had turned into a deficit crisis.

Sadie, this program is designed for working families. Why wouldn't a responsible working family have life insurance and money put away for life's emergencies? They even count the savings bonds that people have given Z since he was born. So much for saving for college!

 
At 11/11/2005 5:30 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

So much for being open with these idiots.

They're encouraging folks to be less than transparent.

Ralph Klein you suck.

 
At 11/11/2005 5:56 PM, Blogger DaDog said...

Same problems we saw creeping into TN right before the wife unit and I left.

I think Mason jars do much better than Ziplocs if you care to hear it.

Or voting wicked frequent. :)

 
At 11/11/2005 6:14 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Dadog, the tops rust off Mason jars.;)
I sure hope I'm not the only one that remembers this stuff at the polls!

 
At 11/11/2005 7:00 PM, Blogger SME said...

I think the amount spent on Ralph Klein's bar tabs could take care of any deficits...

 
At 11/12/2005 12:18 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

It seems to me that here in PA - you are rewarded for not working, not saving.

The person who works their ass off - or even tries to work a little bit if they are on benefits - gets them yanked away.

I said to one guy just the other day that hiding the money inside the mattress might not be such a bad idea afterall. This was after a conversation about bank fees though.

It seems to apply in your case, too. Unbelievable.

 
At 11/12/2005 7:00 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Here too, Monica. The MN motto is: "Minnesota, land of !0,000 taxes, but welfare pays good"

You'd think the politicians would try to keep us middle class people healthy and working. We're the ones paying ALL the taxes!

I hear you on the bank fees. Our savings account was only paying .15% interest. All it was, was a safe place to keep the money. Our savings bonds, on the other hand, were earning 3.6%. It pisses me off losing them!

 
At 11/13/2005 12:46 PM, Blogger European said...

Ahhh, compassionate conservative bastards!
Your governor sounds like a cousin to our governator. What a bunch of stealing nitwits! Who cares that teachers in CA are out of work or barely making ends meet? At least Arnie has a different hummer for every day of the week!

Betcha right now my doctor wouldn't complain that my blood pressure is too low. ;)

And thank you for beating their system - ha!

 
At 11/13/2005 4:20 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

We all know that professional sports are much more important than the 30 lives that have been lost!

Urgh! That's frustrating. We're currently w/o health insurance, so hopefully in two months we don't get sick because that's when mine will kick in. Wife is a self-employed student, so she doesn't have any, and we're probably too rich for Medical. So, I feel your pain. We've been w/o health care ever since I got my job sent to India in 2002, but luckily, we'll have it back in a little more than two months when the new job's health care plan kicks in.

Really upsets me to no end that America is transferring its wealth from the people to corporations (thus you see things like sports stadiums get millions while services like fire depts get cut). In the meantime, tax burdens are being transferred from corporations to the middle class.

 
At 11/13/2005 6:40 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Jesus... It's not like you guys are living high on the hog and taking advantage of state benefits. I always wondered about stuff like this - you have to be rich to hire someone who knows how to hide your money. But it's not the rich that need to hide their money.

Can you "sell" your camper to a family member - you know, like a deadbeat dad who puts all his assets in his new girlfriend's name? I know you'd feel dirty doing it, but there has to be a way.

That totally blows.

BTW, there was a short documentary on HBO on Tourette's. We recorded it if you want it. Shoot me an email if you're interested.

 
At 11/13/2005 7:54 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

euro, you'd think they'd try to keep their constituents alive, wouldn't you? I guess all that matters is the rich are alive to donate to their campaigns.
Glad to see that you're still alive and it's almost Monday. ;)

ZS, we had never had medical insurance until MNCARE came along. We paid for 2 kids, a broken arm, my hospitalization with 2 herniated discs, and all the other routine illnesses for the first 17 yrs of our marriage. It's not the world's best coverage, but we can afford it. It does cover kids under 18, 100%.

You're right Laura. MNCARE is a service we pay for, but they can only handle so many people. Fewer people now that Pawlenty has drained the fund.
In the past, we've been eligible for things like reduced school lunches and fuel assistance, but we never took it. We've always been able to pay these bills and we wanted to leave money in these funds for the people that REALLY needed it.
In my opinion, our camper is the only thing on the list that is a luxury item. I can understand excluding people with fancy vacation homes, 3 snowmobiles, 2 four-wheelers, and 2 SUVs in the driveway. But c'mon; our lousy $10,000 whole life insurance policies and Z's savings bonds?!
I'd be very interested in the HBO program. I'd like to see their slant on it. Wouldn't you know, we just switched from HBO to Starz as the movies were better. I'll email you. Thanks pal!

 
At 11/14/2005 10:03 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Un-effing-believable. No wonder no one gets ahead in your country.

I'm really sorry to hear about that, but am not surprised. All the more reason to have a universal health care system SIMILAR (i.e. not the same) as ours up here.

Bridg and SME: yeah, Ralphie is an idiot, but this wouldn't be happening to tshsmom & co. in AB.

 
At 11/15/2005 2:33 AM, Blogger Miladysa said...

Thanks for voting for Zombie-Slayer!

 
At 11/15/2005 2:58 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I've been campaigning for that for YEARS, WC! The politicians won't do it unless it involves insurance companies. WTF?! We don't need a middleman!
Apparantly the insurance companies are giving ALL of our politicians substantial kickbacks for this.

I'll be back Milady. Your stories are fantastic!

 
At 11/15/2005 10:37 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

That's what really kills me about the US: everything has to be profit-based. If it isn't going to fill some white guy's pockets, it won't happen - and that's that. God. I don't know how you can stand it.

 
At 11/17/2005 3:57 AM, Blogger Vest said...

You are my very most favoured nice person, you have great intestinal fortitude,nice to hear that someone is winning the battle agaist mis-management.
I now believe that my crusade for the Oz Gold Card was doomed before it got off the ground, with too little support from those it may have benefitted. However, I had fun near the end throwing insults at my most unfavored politicians.

 
At 11/17/2005 1:00 PM, Anonymous ann said...

i'm as outraged as everyone else here. and disgusted!

 
At 11/18/2005 4:52 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I love you too, Vest! Take heart knowing that you did your best. Your insults, as always, were masterful!

ann, it seems like everyday I see another gov't SNAFU of this magnitude. It's time they get their priorities straight!!

 
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