A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Posts tagged ‘medicaid’

Child Support, Prison & Crushing Debt

child support shacklesOf the 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States, about half are parents, and at least 1 in 5 has a child-support obligation. For most, the debt will keep piling up throughout their imprisonment: By law or by practice, child-support agencies in much of the country consider incarceration a form of “voluntary impoverishment.” Parents like Harris, the logic goes, have only themselves to blame for not earning a living. But that may be about to change.

childsupportchart2016

What does this tell you about overdue child support?

Republicans opposed to new regulations

The Obama administration has authorized a new set of regulations that would reclassify incarceration as “involuntary,” giving parents the right to push the pause button on child-support payments. The regulations are set to be published early next year and implemented by states by 2017.

Congressional Republicans oppose the new policy. They argue that it would undercut the 1996 welfare reform act, which pressed states to locate missing fathers and bill them for child support so taxpayers wouldn’t bear the full burden of their children’s welfare. (What idiots, the debt can’t be paid anyway.)

“I am fundamentally opposed to policies that allow parents to abdicate their responsibilities, which, in turn, results in more families having to go on welfare,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a speech in June on the Senate floor. Obama’s new regulations, he said, “would undermine a key feature of welfare reform, which is that single mothers can avoid welfare if fathers comply with child-support orders.”

Frances Pardus-Abbadessa, head of child-support enforcement for New York City, said: “The complaint we often hear is, ‘Why should incarcerated fathers, of all people, be the ones to get a break from their obligations — and at a cost to the taxpayer?’ “

Administration officials and their supporters counter that billing fathers while they’re in prison does little but dig them deeper into debt.

“Billing poor fathers doesn’t help poor mothers and kids become less poor,” said Jacquelyn Boggess, a poverty expert with the Center for Family Policy and Practice.

“All it creates,” she said, “is a highly indebted individual.”

Debt piles up

For Earl Harris, the problem was keeping up. He had a job in prison, cleaning the kitchen, but it paid only $7.50 a month — well short of the $168 the state of Missouri was billing him.

“Didn’t they know I was in prison?” he asks. “Weren’t they the ones that put me in there?”

When he got out in 2001, the unpaid amount was listed on his credit report — and pursued by an agency with the power to garnish 65 percent of his wages, intercept his tax returns, freeze his bank account, suspend his driver’s license and, if he failed to pay, lock him up again. By then, his debt had surged to more than $10,000.

Harris entered barbering school but soon returned to drug dealing and was thrown back into prison for nearly a decade. Meanwhile, his child-support debt swelled to more than $25,000.

Incarceration currently deemed ‘voluntary’

Harris’s plight is not unusual. The Marshall Project interviewed nearly three dozen noncustodial parents in 10 states; they all left prison owing between $10,000 and $110,000 in child support. Mostly fathers who are disproportionately black and poor, these parents faced prosecution for not repaying the debt, even after their children were grown.

And what they were able to pay did not necessarily go to their children or the mother. The state often kept their money as repayment for welfare, child care or Medicaid benefits that had been provided to the family while the dad was locked up.

To address the issue, the Obama administration began drafting new rules about four years ago. As currently written, the rules would forbid state child-support agencies from classifying incarceration as “voluntary,” granting parents the legal right to a reduction in payments while they’re in prison, a right that does not exist in 14 states.

The rules would require agencies to inform incarcerated parents of this right and would encourage agencies to provide a reduction in payments automatically. And they would urge states to transfer all payments directly to custodial parents — mostly mothers — and their children.

The administration proposal would provide about $35 million over the next five years to modernize the child-support system and to provide job training, job placement, bus fare, and other services to fathers facing prosecution for nonpayment.

The rule “will make sure that arrears don’t accumulate endlessly while a parent is incarcerated,” said Vicki Turetsky, President Barack Obama’s commissioner of child-support enforcement. “Our goal is to collect, month by month, for kids. We can do that when parents are employed, not in debt.”

Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have introduced legislation to block the new rules, though neither lawmaker has pushed to advance the measure.

Ron Haskins, a child-support expert at the Brookings Institution, said he and other conservatives actually support parts of the new regulations. But they worry, he said, that the policy “could begin a long process of undermining the child-support concept, which they strongly believe in.”

The struggle after prison

Back in North St. Louis, Earl Harris, now 38, has put in his hours as an apprentice barber and is one written test away from getting his license. In the meantime, he is living in a halfway house and working at a factory across the river in Illinois, packaging Febreze canisters and Swiffer mops.

His hours are 4 p.m. to midnight, though he arrives an hour early to make sure he doesn’t lose his spot to another temp worker waiting outside the building in hopes of getting a shift. After work, he typically gets a cousin to drive him back to his dorm room, where he sleeps from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. before heading to his daily support group for fathers.

By 8 a.m. the dads are circled up, talking about having kids and debt. They have come because the program helps them find a job, develop strategies for handling their arrears and work on their parenting skills. They also get free legal help. Many of them were incarcerated, almost exclusively for selling drugs, and everyone is wearing a jacket and tie, the uniform of employment.

One father, Louis Moore, said his debt soared to almost $60,000 while he was inside. Allan Newcomer’s is more than $68,000. “Everybody in the penitentiaries was getting the letters,” Newcomer said.

Lisl Williams, a former judge who now works with the fathers, said even if they spend their money on food, clothes or toys for their children, it does not reduce their debt. In many cases, she said, the whole family — the mother, aunts, uncles, cousins — chips in to help pay it, and then the money they pay goes to the government as repayment for welfare they received long ago.

Because the fathers don’t have large incomes to garnish, bank accounts to tap or property to seize, she adds, they are more likely to face re-incarceration for not paying their arrears.

‘I know I’m the bad man’ (Oh, really?)

Another dad, Corey Mason, said he was incarcerated and already racking up child-support debt when he got a notice saying he might have another child by a different mother. He was instructed to go to the medical wing, get a DNA swab and send it to the agency. When they confirmed his paternity, he started getting a new set of child-support bills.

Mason sent several handwritten letters to the agency explaining that he was in prison. He said he never got a response. (So who is really bad? You know!)

Now that he’s out, Mason has a job at the Marriott hotel downtown. He works the graveyard shift, cleaning, shutting down the bar, providing towels to customers who ask for extra. Because the child-support agency garnishes well over half his weekly paycheck, he turned down a recent promotion.

“I want to grow in the company. But I don’t want to work that much harder if they’re just going to take all of it to pay for history,” Mason said.

“I know I’m the bad man. But I’m working harder now than I ever have, and it’s like this is designed to keep me behind, backed up against the wall, in debt for the rest of my life.” (Hear the defeat and fear? That’s what they want!)

Obama: ‘Too many fathers M.I.A, AWOL’

Obama has frequently scolded the same absentee fathers who now stand to benefit from his regulations. “Too many fathers are M.I.A., too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes,” he told a Chicago audience in 2008 as a candidate for president.

Some fathers interviewed for this story had multiple children — one man said he had 12 — by different mothers. Many seemed less than eager to find employment. A few served time for domestic violence.

Some mothers say these men do not deserve to be freed of their debt.

“There’s a real tension here, as a matter of public policy,” said Joan Entmacher, an expert on family poverty at the National Women’s Law Center. “There are absolutely fathers who evade their responsibilities, saying, ‘Oh, I can’t pay that,’ and not even trying. We don’t want to simply reward that attitude.”

Even if a father is a deadbeat, however, the evidence is clear: Noncustodial fathers are far more likely to pay child support, and otherwise reengage with their families, if payments are manageable.

In a 2012 study by the Center for Policy Research, a private nonprofit research organization, fathers paid a much higher percentage of their monthly obligations when offered relief from unpayable state-owed debt. In studies in Maryland, Illinois and California, fewer than 15 percent remained noncompliant once the old debts were reduced and they were given a schedule of regular payments. And the fathers most likely to abide by “debt compromise” agreements were those who had been incarcerated.

Boggess, the child-support analyst, said that trying to collect the accumulated debt is “like squeezing an empty bottle and hoping something comes out.

“These fathers are poor, period. Their arrears are uncollectible, period,” she said. “They’ve never even met anyone who had $30,000.”

States taking action

Many states have already taken action. In 36 states and the District, incarceration is no longer officially considered “voluntary” impoverishment, and an imprisoned father is legally entitled to have his monthly child-support bill modified to as little as $50 a month or, in rare cases, stopped altogether.

But it is still up to the father to prove he is incarcerated, and then to file for the reduction. This involves navigating a maze of paperwork from prison, usually with no lawyer, irregular access to phones and, in many cases, an eighth- or ninth-grade education.

The most common pitfall, said Bo Twiggs, the director of UpNext, a program in New York City that helps recently incarcerated fathers, is that the incarcerated dad has no idea his child support is piling up because he isn’t getting the notices. The debt keeps compounding – and federal law prohibits the reduction of child-support bills retroactively.

“It’s hard for these fathers to understand that they can’t wait, they can’t adjust to life in prison before dealing with child support, that they need to take action immediately because the debt will be permanent,” Twiggs said. “That’s really counterintuitive.”

When these fathers get out of prison, they often don’t notice the debt until the state begins pursuing it, “which forces them to go underground instead of rejoining the formal economy,” said Turetsky, Obama’s commissioner of child-support enforcement.

Indeed, research shows that the two most important factors in a former prisoner’s successful reentry into the community are employment and positive relationships with family. Both of these are hindered by the aggressive pursuit of child-support arrears: Garnishing 65 percent of a father’s paycheck, so he is tempted to earn cash off the books; suspending his driver’s license so he can’t get to work; sending him bills that are so far beyond his capacity to pay that he keeps his distance from his family.

“I see it all the time,” Twiggs said: “Not reengaging with the family. Noncompliance with parole and child support. Under-the-table efforts at income. Self-defeat, high anxiety, general institutional distrust. All of that is triggered by this absolutely overwhelming, impossible feeling of debt.”

portions from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Parents Aren’t The World Full of Deadbeats

by Samuel Gaddie

graft and corruption doctorIt’s painfully clear that government is all about passing the buck, so to speak. A few months ago I had a candid conversation with the Director about an obvious ID Theft issue, I was informed by the same director that I was not under their jurisdiction. They were not going to be able to help me with this issue. Is this supposed to make me feel like everything is going to be okay? Whatever various government pseudo-powers tell me and whatever government employed individuals say will not change anything about the outcome of repeated, unwarranted and unconstitutional violation of privacy. These actions amount to nothing less than slander coupled with a complete lack of concern about the well being of HUMANITY.

The public needs to aware of the outrageous and total disregard to the public law regarding Federally Funded Medicaid Public Health through egregious and immoral statutes. As a primary example that I have been dealing with, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office do nothing BUT discriminate against so called inadequate people with the attitude what they don’t know won’t hurt them. What is worse is that administering federally funded public health with no regard to the public well is more than a pain to those on the receiving end, but a destruction of the human spirit. This is a TRAVESTY AND AN EMBARRASSMENT to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and all American states that participate in this kind of character and financial assassination.

Now where does Title VI Implementation Plan (Federal Law) fit into this mix?, I know that the Commonwealth of Kentucky holds stock in insurance regarding Medicaid funding and fraud. The OAG is a waste of time on the issue because the corporate state seems to be able to do as it pleases. I have the e-mails to prove it, along with a number of visits to the offices. But I still have correspondence with the US Attorney’s Office who is being ‘reviewed’ by the FBI. They have received a number of emails regarding ID Theft Issues by the corporate state. The county, in my case, Franklin County, simply piles on for the ride. As for this American, I want my IDENTITY back. I want the corporate state to leave my SS# alone. A consumer repair report is not the answer. My name and personal information still wrongly remain on a state deadbeat list without an realistic expectation of the state recognizing its error. Many millions of Americans continue to be exploited by the corporate Feds and the corporate state.

Government & Child Support: A World Full of Deadbeats

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Parents Aren’t The World Full of Deadbeats by Samuel Gaddie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Government & Child Support: A World Full of Deadbeats

by Samuel Gaddie

Mike O'Connell serves KentuckyHurray for the world! The new 2011 JCAO Child Support Obligor list is online for all of the public to view. In Mike O’Connell’s comments on WLKY NEWS that was aired advertising the DEADBEAT DADS LIST, he actually stated that he did not care who it embarrassed. So much for serving the public. Now there is a question that I would like to address to the FINANCE and Administration Cabinet, COT, CHFS, DCBS, FAMILY of Income Support, OIG, OGC, OAG, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of Records Management, DSE, and the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office Child Support Enforcement and I don’t care who it embarrasses.

Am I the only one on this list that has been denied access to my PHI and accounting disclosures in KASES regarding the KRS 61 Kentucky Open Records Act with contract compliance in regards to the Kentucky Child Support Handbook pursuant to HIPAA Guidelines? This is unlikely. You would think that the support obligation would be posted to reflect true numbers that should match dollar for dollar according to KARS (Kentucky child support system). I have over one hundred ORR in regards to my CS-71.1 Kentucky Obligation Worksheet and I am informed that this document does not exist. This is in violation of KRS 205.712 (i)(j).

I have been found GUILTY of FLAGRANT NON-SUPPORT three times , the third time while my four children were at home waiting for their father to go on vacation for two weeks. I was incarcerated and my 4 CHILDREN were taken away from me. I Spent 4 Months in a work release program that took 25% of my wages, also $20.00 for arrears per week extra even though there is no support obligation even established according to the Kentucky Child Support Handbook? I have lost many good paying jobs because of a CS-73 INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER threatening my employer. I’ve heard over one thousand times I need to get a lawyer. According to the Kentucky Child Support Handbook if I am denied this document, this constitutes (DISCRIMINATION) denial of due process and a right to a fair hearing.(Kentucky Child Support Handbook sec.6.000 Confidentiality and Safeguarding Records and 200 KAR 1:020 STATUTORY AUTHORITY KRS 61.876(3) NECESSITY, FUNCTION, and CONFORMITY.)

I requested an Administrative Hearing from the County Ombudsman Joe D. Leavell to be able to question the arrears by mistake or fact according to Administrative Regulations, but it never happened, 6 months later I submitted a CS-180 to a Sheila Blevins the Regional Manager for CHFS and was allowed a Hearing that was according to anything but KRS, KAR, and Court Orders. Lola Ewing was the Hearing Officer and evidence shows that she is an abomination to her profession. Both Sheila Blevins and Lola Ewing done nothing but deny Kentucky Open Records and a right to a fair hearing. Both of them repeatedly tell me that I am wrong,  stating that my PHI was confidential and she can deny me access. I’m very tired but the Commission needs to know that I am prepared for the long haul pertaining to this issue.

kangaroo courtIs all the information online according to LAW just make believe? Am I the only one who can decipher proper interpretation of the Law? Compliance Officers are ignorant when it comes to interpretation of the law. Chip Ward of the Ombudsman’s Office (CHFS) tells me he reads every complaint that is entered into KASES (the computerized child support system) and it is recorded with my PHI, but it is all about interpretation of the Law. He ignored my pleas for help. There is a Child Support Specialist named Janice Taylor. Both Ward and Taylor  are ignorant and have no compassion providing services for CHFS and the Commonwealth. They are an abomination to the people they serve.

My case file can back up every word I am writing (Federal Case Registry IV-D #0001295436, OCSE Region VI, OCR Region VI #11-129842 (Miss Ivey Belton) KCHR complaint number that before it was closed #7063/#00818 by Miss Sherita Davis) are they are make believe to? Plain and simple, they like their comfort zone and are afraid to do their jobs. This is selfishness, even exploitation at the expense of others.

NCP/Right to Discover is a classic case of the “King Has No Clothes,” with big tears in my eyes I give a tribute to the author of the book. Everyone is entitled to a full and complete accounting statement since it is a free and public document. This isn’t happening. I have over four hundred E-Mails regarding this issue, the names reach from the Dept. of Revenue, Sarah E. Pence to JCAO, Joe D. Leavell the County Ombudsman, US Postal Mail Fraud, conspiracy to commit Fraud Malfeasance of contracting Agencies and Government employees, Kentucky Child Support Handbook sec. 5.000 ALLEGED FRAUD.

I have a signed Affidavit from the mother of my children, stating she had to borrow money from her mom and dad to feed my children and put a roof over their heads in 1994, went to work for Ford Motor Co. in 1993 she being recording testified to the Judge Honorable Patty Walker. Her Lawyer was her brother and he is now a Lawyer for the State. Why were they lying to the Court? This is considered Medicaid Fraud. I wonder where my CS-71.1 Obligation Worksheet went? Nobody is talking. They don’t want to rock the boat.

Kentucky bully list by Mike O'ConnellThis issue has been going on three years now. Why in GODS name do I need a lawyer that will do nothing but take what little money I already have? Mr. O’Connell, I am not a deadbeat dad and you are not allowed to slander my good name, nor are you fit to. This O’Connell is a bully and a common criminal.  You owe everyone on this manufactured list a public apology and so does WLKY News. The fact is that when any user opens the KASES INTRODUCTION Screen it has a warning to the caseworkers from the IRS stating that this computer is a PHI computer used to monitor PHI and is owned by the Federal Government. If the computer system is used for anything else it constitutes a violation of the Title 18 U.S.C. sec. 1030, which is protected by the Federal Government. Nobody is paying attention because they have dollar signs in their eyes!

The right to your public health statement is clearly made in  the Kentucky Child Support Handbook Introduction section under Public Health. Kentucky citizens and likely many others are being denied access to their personal PHI. You should have never put my NAME on that list. I have nothing to hide. Can somebody prove me wrong? No, they continue to gloss over matters and pretend that they are within the LAW. Tell Miss Angela Anton I send my regards. I will not be sending anymore written correspondences to the office I have already sent to many regarding this issue. The fraud is outright, the deception continues… and you don’t know it unless you are reading this article.

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Government & Child Support: A World Full of Deadbeats by Samuel Gaddie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

U.S. Child Poverty Up

Newly released data shows that poor families and children are being left behind as the benefits of a steadily growing economy fail to trickle down to their level. Congress is currently preparing to issue additional tax cuts and cut funding for programs that serve low-income children and families, just as these numbers come to light.

How can the Bush Administration and Congress can give enormous tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans who have benefited most from the economic recovery while threatening to cut the budgets for Medicaid, Food Stamps and other programs that assist poor children who continue to be left behind? Good question. So much for welfare reform or is this the new reform promised since the 1990’s?

Medical News Link

13 million children now living in poverty in the U.S.

In newly released data it appears that poor families and children are being left behind as the benefits of a steadily growing economy fail to trickle down to their level.

Congress is currently preparing to issue additional tax cuts and cut funding for programs that serve low-income children and families, just as these numbers come to light.

Marian Wright Edelman, CEO and founder of Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), says the persistent and growing high level of child poverty, reflects conscious and misguided choices.

She wonders how the Bush Administration and Congress can give enormous tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans who have benefited most from the economic recovery while threatening to cut the budgets for Medicaid, Food Stamps and other programs that assist poor children who continue to be left behind.

According to the CDF the number of children living in poverty in the United States now exceeds 13 million.

New health insurance data also released today serves to underscore the importance of maintaining these programs.

Apparently private health insurance coverage for children has declined since 2000, but because of the continued effectiveness of Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in filling coverage gaps, health insurance for children nationally has remained stable and even slightly improved.

But apparently there are still 9.1 million uninsured children in the U.S.

In 2004 more than seven out of every ten poor children had at least one employed parent, but that is not enough to lift families out of poverty, as even if a parent with one child works full time at the federal minimum wage, the family still lives in poverty.

Child poverty has risen significantly among all racial groups since 2000, and extreme child poverty increased by 20 percent from 2000 to 2004 to reach almost 5.6 million children.

Extreme poverty is defined as living with an annual income of below $7,610 for a family of three.

Edelman says that while far less wealthy industrialized countries have committed to end child poverty, the United States is sliding backwards.

For additional information, please read Defining Poverty and Why It Matters for Children in America available online.

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