Unpaid Medical Billing Errors Questions

Daniel asks… How do I get my money back from a billing error? I called my clinic last Friday to set up a payment plan for my $800+ medical bill. I was supposed to pay $143 every month for six months but instead of taking $143 out, the $%*@ guy took out $1,743!!!!!!! It was posted as ‘pending’ on my Wells Fargo account, so I called the clinic to report the error, hoping they could cancel it in time. Needless to say, it didn’t…
Billions in Debt, Detroit Tumbles Into Insolvency

Monica Davey and Mary Williams Walsh on the downfall of Detroit:

Founded more than 300 years ago, the city expanded at a stunning rate in the first half of the 20th century with the arrival of the automobile industry, and then shrank away in recent decades at a similarly remarkable pace. A city of 1.8 million in 1950, it is now home to 700,000 people, as well as to tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and unlit streets.

Crazy. But interesting to think about in the context of the current industry-driven boom in Silicon Valley. Nothing lasts forever.

In 2012, Detroit had the highest rate of violent crime in the nation for a city larger than 200,000, a report from Mr. Orr’s office showed. About 40 percent of the city’s streetlights do not work. More than half of Detroit’s parks have closed since 2008.

Just sad. For four years I lived about 40 minutes outside of Detroit (in Ann Arbor). I think I was there a grand total of eight times. And six of those were to go to a casino. Hard to see how they turn this around.

Wacom wants to bankrupt me.

So today I was working on some models for our latest platformer game when my good friend Ricard Climent (Amazing illustrator, we worked together on a few projects while in school. Here is his portfolio) sent me a link that infuriated me. It was a video for Wacom´s new Cintiq 24 HD. Here is the video:

As a digital artist, I have to say it: I creamed my pants. Sorry. I know. But have you seen the video? No, seriously. Have you? Go watch it again, I will take another look at it too.

So what pisses me off about this is not the fact that a video of a drawing tablet made me climax at work or that my friend Ricard was responsible for a very embarrassing stain in my pants. Its because Wacom is systematically trying to bankrupt me. When the Inkling was announced, videos starting to pop on the internet and my friends were linking the videos to me, I was excited. I even made a post about it yesterday. It is something new, exciting and at an affordable price but then just a day later, I see this. Its the proverbial slap in the face. 

But I jest. I guess this will be another amazing product by Wacom. I just wish I actually could afford one since its at the hefty price of 2.229 Euro, but as I mentioned it yesterday, I can barely afford anything right now at my intern budget. We do have a Cintiq 12WX at work though but I haven't really given it a go yet but based on what I heard from others who used this model, the screen is too small. Sure, it is very usable but since your computer recognizes the tablet as another window, it might be too small to draw at times. But I dont know, I might have to give it a go and see it for myself before I say anything stupid.

I guess all that is left for me to do is to actually kick ass at my work so I get a good pay and actually afford these amazing toys that wacom releases. I hope Ill get there. :) 

If you have a Cintiq or used one before, hit me up on the comments and let me know what you think.

'I've been told I'm not a good candidate because they feel someone with my experience will bolt at the first opportunity'

I’m sure like many respondents, I’m probably not being counted as unemployed any longer because my unemployment benefits ended long ago. I lost my job in November of 2007. I was working for Citifiancial Auto as a dealer development rep when the cuts came along. At first I wasn’t too worried, as I’ve never had trouble getting a job, and have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a major in finance. After a few months it became apparent to me that jobs were disappearing at an alarming rate.  

In my case, having been working in financial services, and having my career tied to the credit markets was especially impactful. The bank I was working for, as well as other financial institutions which contributed heavily to the bursting bubble and deep recession we are (in my opinion) still experiencing, regardless of what the economic data says, have held it against me that I’ve had such a long job gap.  Which is something you don’t read about, and nobody is talking about. 

You have people working in sectors that really haven’t been affected, and are pretty clueless about what has really been going on. Understandable, but it’s like hearing about an event in another country … “Oh man, that’s too bad.”  

I’m still unemployed, and seeing new college grads get most of those few new jobs popping up, as opposed to experienced workers.  I think primarily because a lot of the jobs starting to come back are lower level and entry level jobs. And believe me, I’ve tried to get a job in other industries, but there I’ve been told I’m not a good candidate because they feel someone with my experience will bolt at the first opportunity.  And all the times I’ve been told “you’re over qualified."  So sick of hearing that. This is the first story I’ve seen that even comes close to discussing the deeper issues of unemployment I’ve mentioned.   

I went bankrupt, lost my home, and had to move in with my parents like I’m a kid again. Really demoralizing, and difficult to keep that fighting attitude that things will get better. NEVER EVER thought I’d be in this position.

I even tried returning to my alma mater to earn a second major in information systems.  But that’s a no go, because the university has a policy that someone can’t earn a second major under the same degree (in this case BS in Business Admin) consecutively. I could return and take classes as a non degree seeking, but not being in a degree program means I don’t qualify for financial aid (not even a student loan).  Really a catch-22.

The university screams because they had $50 million cut from their budget, but have a silly policy, which won’t allow an alumni to come back and learn a new skill, in order to re-enter the job market.  Interestingly, if I had earned my BS in Business Admin from a different university, they would allow me to pursue a different major under the same degree program. So, in reality they punish their alumni.   

Where I’m at now. Well, basically I’ve lost everything, and I’m unattractive to potential employers in my field because of my extended gap in employment created by the recession, which has a compounding effect month after month. I’m hoping to get a job driving trucks after I get my commercial drivers license.   

You can bet there’s plenty of people like me out there, viewed like stale bread nobody wants, who have fallen though the cracks, and aren’t even being counted anymore.  I used to think the United States was the greatest country in the world, but no longer.  I hope to drive trucks for a few years, put a lot of money in the bank, and be able to get out of the U.S.
Patrick C., via email
European Union prepares for Greek state bankruptcy

Many politicians and media representatives now regard a Greek state bankruptcy as a certainty. Spiegel Online commented on the events of last week, saying: “Now the financial institutions are to be supported with taxpayers’ money. That might be cheaper than rescuing countries in crisis.” And Europe’s leading financial newspaper, the Financial Times, published a comment on Thursday under the headline “Save the euro—let Greece default”. “Given its debt, its budget and current account deficits and its woeful lack of competitiveness, Greece cannot escape the debt trap”, it stated. “Austerity piled on austerity will simply kill the patient.”

To manage the country’s bankruptcy, the Financial Times calls for “a co-ordinated recapitalisation of the banks and a quadrupling to €2,000bn or so in the firepower of the European Financial Stability Facility.” The bill for these measures will have to be paid by working people throughout Europe, in the form of further cuts and austerity measures. The preparations for Greek state bankruptcy mark a new stage in the offensive of the ruling financial elite against the working class. This offensive can only be answered by a common struggle of European workers on the basis of a socialist programme, which focuses on the expropriation of the banks and big corporations and the establishment of the United Socialist States of Europe.