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Letters (October 16, 2019)

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I recently read an article (“Column: His doctors ordered an emergency flight by air ambulance. His Insurer won’t pay.” LA Times Oct 8, 2019) that provoked a lot of concerns in me regarding a family, who had to take their son with a special life threatening concern to the local hospital in Rancho Palos Verdes in SoCal. He had previous had a special operation to deal with a drainage blockage in his brain that appear to be failing; causing serious nausea, headaches and potential death. He is a young man that has had many challenges including cerebral palsy, a real burden for a family, but they were covered with insurance, at least the thought so. The local doctors contacted the pediatric neurosurgeon in UCLA and he insisted in rapid transport, which in LA area means medical helicopter. All decisions by medical personnel. 

The young man is fine, but his parents are now burdened with an extreme fiscal issue. Their insurance company, Blue Cross Anthem has refused to pay the $50,000, flight cost. Apparently the insurance company had no agreement with REACH, the medical helicopter company. As second appeal brought the same response from Anthem. After one threat from REACH, the ambulance company decided that the family may be able to use their compassionate care program to lower cost. Should they be footing the bill? What was the health care premium payment for?

I also had to fly to Ukiah some 20 years back from two yellow jacket bites after a history of many. These little devils literally went for my jugular and it was clear this was no normal bite. The air ambulance cost $8,000 then and fortunately Blue Shield covered half. Initially my client balked, but then paid the balance. What kind of insurance leaves people with these sort of huge burdens? Clearly a flight to Ukiah is much steeper now, but alas we have the Ambulance membership program which in my mind is a no-brainer-real-darn-cool-deal-you-can’t-pass-up. Just $120 covers a year’s subscription for your entire immediate family, even unwedded ones. Total ambulance cost covered! Which could be ambulance to helicopter to hospital. Get it immediately even as it is half done for the year. Don’t get caught without this very very cheap insurance! Call the AV Fire Department.

However, to the rest of the story. This is the great current system that forces you to study your policy to get not your desired service, but a prearranged one for your insurance company. What if only REACH was available? There are times when medical transport is overburdened. Anthem would probably say, “wait.” Remember a neurosurgeon ordered immediate. Who has the authority here? Where is the choice that is being touted by those who do not want to go forward with single payer health care? You have to pay attention in the throes of a medical emergency to follow your insurance P’s and Q’s or suffer another emergency that could make your family homeless after years of premium payment.

As the article pointed out, Anthem is second largest medical insurer, growing 8% to 1.14 billion in quarter ending last June with profits at $3.75 million. Compassionate care? No, Bottom line greed and nonsupport. These are the folks that take a huge part of the medical pie, so they can bilk policy owners out of their need for basic medical support. Obviously, I am leading towards a single payer system that cuts out the middle man super profit in favor of real no-questions-asked, quality care. If we have this system, like Canada, Workman’s compensation would drop dramatically helping the self-employed and for that matter the corporations. I do not know how this would be done, but clearly incrementally as the Affordable-Care act was destine to do until some members of Congress started dismantling it. One thing you can say about it. It is a “care” package, all puns intended. Relief from fear of medical fiscal collapse is now possible. That alone is incredible. A testimony to the last President. It may not have been perfect, but it was a huge step forward. 

So pay attention to your “choice health insurers,” get the local cheap ambulance insurance and enjoy the cooler weather.

Greg Krouse


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Notice of Withdrawal - Falck Northern California

Good afternoon,

Falck Northern California and its subsidiaries have served as an EMS Provider in Mendocino County since 2002. Today, Coastal Valleys EMS Agency received formal notification from Falck that they will be discontinuing services to Mendocino County effective December 1, 2019. 

As indicated in their notification, Falck has engaged in a collaborative process with MedStar Ambulance and is actively working with the MedStar team to support transition efforts. 

I am scheduling an EMS Provider Group meeting on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 10:00 AM to discuss and assess our system’s immediate needs. Attendance is encouraged. 

I will provide a calendar invite with a confirmed meeting location early next week. 

I would like to personally thank the Falck Mendocino County team for their dedicated service to the citizens and communities of Mendocino County. 

Wishing you all a safe weekend and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. 

Thank you,

Jen Banks

EMS Coordinator, CVEMSA, Sonoma County


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Drugs and homelessness —

We have no say in what is going on. I sit in dismay as a 51-year resident at what has happened to our city [Santa Rosa].

We are being fed that the homeless problem is solely due to affordable housing. If you look around at the hypodermic needles strewn about on city streets, trails and parks, you will discover what the real issue is. Our parks, trails and creeks are unusable. There is debris and human waste everywhere. It is disgusting.

We need to put a stop to this now. Ask any drug counselor and they will tell you the only thing that will help an addict is tough love. I believe we are enabling people to keep them from hitting bottom so they realize they need help. We need our police to stop the illegal drug flow they are getting.

I believe that the citizens in our community are all on board with wanting to help the underemployed get housing and, of course, to work with the mentally ill. I think we draw the line at enabling drug addicts.

Robert Ingham

Santa Rosa

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Dear AVA,

I wish you all a wonderful Halloween and holiday season. 

I have been accepted into the offender mentor certification program (OMCP) to become trained to be a certified alcohol and drug counselor. We actually receive topline elite training from some of the best counselors, psychologists, trauma specialists (from the military) and others in the field from around the country. It's kind of crazy when I think about the contrast between my life 10, 20 or even five years ago and now. I still have LWOP, but I have high hopes that I will be paroled in the next couple of years.

If anyone is interested in learning more about OMCP, I recommend you check out the CDCR website devoted to this topic. It is very informative and thorough.

Love, respect and bright blessings — take care,

Leif Berkson 


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The reason most Americans haven't accepted the fact that Trump is an actual psychopathic criminal fraud is basic ignorance. No other president has been found guilty of criminal fraud, three separate times, like Trump. 

The last time three years ago, Trump was fined $25 million for his fraudulent Trump University scam, but still hasn't paid the fine according to the last report. He was found guilty of this crime, but shows no remorse or admit to guilt. He ripped off hundreds of Americans, who believed his lies, then had to sue him to get their money back. And he shows zero accountability. 

He thinks he is above the law. This is a perfect example of psychopathic criminal fraud. When a criminal is caught and found guilty, and their guilt is clear as day, but they still deny it and show no remorse. That's how psychopaths behave! They don't care about your feelings or that they ripped you off and lied about it. They smirk and laugh about getting away with it, just like Trump does! 

But denial has its limits, and Trump is co-conspirator #1 in a fraud scheme for which his former attorney, Mr. Cohen is already in prison. That's what Trump deserves also, jail. 

I shed no tears for Tyrant Trump getting his justice served to him, for he brought it on himself. Deep state? Ha ha ha! What does Trump expect when he verbally abuses, disrespects and obstructs justice with the very same intelligence agencies he swore an oath to protect! He creates his own problems, then wants everybody to feel sorry for him. Trump's a national disgrace! 

Impeach. Indict. Incarcerate. 

Best Regards,

Rob Mahon


P.S. Jerry Philbrick, the domestic terrorist, is the cancerous anal wart of the AVA. He writes in every week wanting to kill "liberals," which is most of the AVA readers. Thus he would behave just like a cancer, killing off its host. Maybe it's time to see a doctor? 

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California's death row is now called Newsom's Penthouse Row. That's what that idiot did to the victims of these murderers, felons, child molesters and whatever. Gavin Newsom is responsible for these people living their lives out on Gavin Newsom Row. They will probably be released early like all the rest of the first-step felons. 

Now the miserable bastard Newsom is taking our gas tax money for climate change agencies when most of us know that scientists have said there is no climate change. What will happen to this guy? He is a maniac, footloose power-hungry tyrannical dictator liberal idiot. 

Mary Nichols, the woman in charge of the CARB air resources and Gavin Newsom should be tied together and laid across the truck lane on I-5. Pelosi and Schiff and Schumer and Nadler and all the rest of the sons of bitches that are trying to impeach President Trump should get the same treatment. Makes me sick what the Democrats are doing. Unbelievable. I hope Donald Trump runs over them, beats them, kicks them in the ass, humiliates them -- I know he will do that. Then in the next four years: Oh boy! You'll see what will happen! 

Newsom checklist: death row reprieve, insurance for illegals, open borders, sanctuary state, trying to keep President Trump off the ballot in California, using gas tax money for climate change, stupid gun and ammunition laws that don't make any sense. How long will the California people allow this son of a bitch to run this state? It's unbelievable. 

What about the homeless people? Gavin Newsom takes gas tax money for climate change? Why not help homeless people? I wish thousands of homeless people would swarm the Capitol building in Sacramento, That could make a good impression. Then they should grab Newsom and drag him out of the Capitol building and horsewhip him until there's no skin left on his body and then let him live like a homeless person for a while. That would make me laugh. 

All the liberal left wackos behind the impeachment thing are going to have to get on an airplane to Siberia because they won't be able to show their faces in America anymore. Their children either. That's how rotten these people are. The only safe place for them is Siberia. 

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


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Jerry Philbrick walks into a bar packed with progressives and libs.

There’s a MAGA hat on his head as he orders a shot and a beer.

The patrons respond with rage, shouting clichés from NPR,

Along with theories from the sixties gathering dust in their minds,

Claiming America is a horrid place that only Marx can fix.

Philbrick orders a second shot and tells them they’re full of crap,

And that America’s the last best place on earth; try China if you’d like.

He follows with an imagined fight in Vegas: 

Philbrick verses de Niro, and Gavin Newsom too,

Because they despise the President as all the rich and elitists do.

De Niro goes down with one punch; Gavin’s beaten to a pulp.

Believing it’s a threat—the customers flee for their lives, 

As Jerry Philbrick roars with laughter: “Hey, you forgot your service dogs, and,

God Bless Donald Trump.” 

—Michael Koepf, Elk

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