Interesting to notice how the unconscious mind grapples with a seemingly unsolvable problem. When you are under ongoing stress from a difficult to bear psychological torment the brain struggles against it in the background, I suppose. Objectively, your situation might scream for relief– anybody in your position would be ready to start shouting, particularly if there is no possibility of relief.
The way things are set up here in the Free Market, you’d better have a lot of money to buy influence if you are burnt by something that desperately needs changing. I have been banging my head against repeated drafts of a letter that has, at best, a small chance to influence even NY State’s publicity hungry AG to take action. First a bit from the trenches:
My Obamacare navigator (the “in-person assister” who helps consumers find their way on the opaque New York State of Health website) was on the line with me Monday when I called to get my subsidy reinstated. The quickest way to resolve this situation is to simply run my numbers again and calculate the subsidy the law entitles me to.
This, I learned, will be impossible to do, according to the New York State of “Health”, without jeopardizing my current coverage– they can’t grant me a special extension to refile while they examine their clear error in denying me the subsidy the law entitles me to now. I snarled a bit then preserved my right to appeal the removal of my subsidy.
My navigator heard that I am unable to refrain from snarling at the NYS rep Clint Eastwood-like but at length, whenever my low threshold for frustration is exceeded. Now, no doubt, she understands that this Patient Protection Act shit has driven me a bit crazy.
The first time I exploded was when they rejected my appeal request because my scanned tax return with my signature did not have a handwritten date next to my signature, only a typed one by the paid preparer, a filing date verified by the official IRS tax transcript which was sent with it…
My navigator, a lawyer who works for a busy nonprofit assisting some of the thousands fucked by the Patient Protection Act, looked over a previous draft of my letter to the AG. She emailed that I needed to focus on what I was really asking the AG to do– in the mode of “question asked”. At law, you can’t complain without requesting specific relief within the power of the person you are petitioning to grant — well you can, but it won’t get you anything.
It’s like that dilemma described in “Standing on a Phantom Leg” — part of my unconscious grapple with this very issue of being fucked without a remedy at law. The complaint can be irresistibly well-drawn, but for legal purposes, it has to state a “cause of action” and request specific relief the court can provide. The letter as written, and posted the other day as Son of Letter, in addition to being bloated and senselessly recursive, really doesn’t state exactly what I am asking the AG to do.
Reading a skillful litigator friend’s critique I realized the most recent draft of the letter was a long foul ball. If I wrote it to the chief of the legislature, and my congress person, and everyone else in the New York State legislature, maybe a reasonable letter– since they are the ones to write the laws. But all the AG can do is enforce existing laws. I have to convince him that NYS insurance companies routinely commit widespread fraud against mandated low-income health insurance buyers utterly unprotected by New York State law, in spite of the fig leaf of administrative supervision by the Department of Financial Services.
Will it persuade the AG to rush off for a news conference (he’s a progressive and a publicity hound)? That is the only question to be asked of the letter. Written well but not hitting the mark? Who cares? I have no time for that kind of writing. I need this letter to be a clean base hit if I have any hope of it spurring the AG to action.
THIS JUST IN:
The New York State Attorney General has the power to, and does, propose legislation. Yee fucking hah! Back to the drafting table.