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What is your advice?

Discussion in 'Health' started by PLC1, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    A 35 year old American, we'll call him Joe, has worked hard since he was 18 years old. Up until a year ago, he made a good living as a journeyman plumber.

    Joe has a wife and two children. Since the children are not in school as yet, Joe's wife only works part time at a preschool. Her earnings are small, and she doesn't get health insurance.

    A year ago, Joe fell while at home and ruptured a disk. He tried physical therapy, but to no avail. He needs an operation to fix the problem. The projected cost is $150,000. Since Joe spent his savings on a down payment and closing costs for his house, he didn't have much left in the bank, and that has been eaten up buying food while he was out of work.

    Since Joe has been laid up, he couldn't work and so lost his job. With his job, went his health insurance. Meanwhile, the house he and his wife bought back in '08 for $250,000 with 10% down is now worth $125,000.

    Since Joe doesn't have a job, he has not been making the mortgage payments, and so has lost his house and is living in his brother in law's trailer.

    The brother in law has also lost his job, and really needs to rent out the trailer.

    Until he gets the operation, Joe can't go back to work.

    Meanwhile, his former employer has gone out of business due to the lack of new building. There are many out of work plumbers where Joe lives.

    Joe is about to run out of unemployment benefits.

    Here's the question: Joe needs to spend some time in jail in order to get his health issue taken care of, then needs to be on probation so that he can have some help finding a new job.

    While Joe is in jail, the state welfare system will take care of the rent and food for his family, but they will miss him and want him back as soon as possible.

    What sort of crime should Joe commit? He doesn't want to be in jail any longer than necessary, so it needs to be a crime that is serious enough to carry a prison sentence and probation, but not one so serious as to require him to be in jail for too long.

    If you were Joe, what crime would you commit?
     
  2. Openmind

    Openmind Well-Known Member

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    I hate a system that would put anyone in this sort of dilemma.

    Say what you wish about universal health care or Europe socialism, but IF Joe had been European, he would have had his surgery, covered by his insurance, his wife would have had subsidized child care (and her own insurance) so she could have looked for a full time job.
    They would also have been receiving "child benefits" which would have allowed them to at least assure that their kids didn't go without food, AND the children would have been eligible for pre-school paid by the government as early as age 2 1/2.

    No one could buy a house with just a 10% down payment, as they would also have needed a 15% one time sale tax to pay at closing, and this has kept the housing market in Europe not as active, but still rising.

    Unemployment is of much longer duration (in fact, in doesn't end in Belgium),
    so this situation would not have degenerated to this level.

    What to do now? Is there a good solution? Nope!
     
  3. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Usually a COBRA plan would have carried his health insurance at a nominal rate for a year and a half. He should have tried that. Perhaps there are other non-criminal options.

    However to play along with your scenario, this a law enforcement more than a health insurance question. He should explore what kind of felony gives an adequate amount of jail time. It should certainly be a non violent crime because Joe sounds like a good kind of guy. It might be hard to steal a car with a bad back, so a riding a wheel chair into a bank for a robbery might be the best option. He should ask for a specific amount consistent with the jail time needed.
    An old guy was hungry in Florida. So he robbed a bank and asked for a dollar and waited for the police. He got fed but was let out on probation. This happened a week or so ago.
     
  4. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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  5. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Robbing a store might be an option for Joe. Stealing a car wouldn't work around here, as there is no room left in the local jail and the county sheriff is letting car thieves out of jail to make room for violent offenders. (true story, BTW)

    As for COBRA, does anyone have any idea how much that costs, or how long it lasts? Not an option for anyone out of work and trying to feed a family, no way.

    Perhaps some drug crime would be a better option for Joe. He could sell pot or something, maybe make a little money before he gets caught.

    Just so long as the local drug lord doesn't shoot him before the cops get there.
     
  6. ProudLefty

    ProudLefty Well-Known Member

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    nominal rate?!?!? lol.. You haven't checked into this, have you. There is nothing nominal about it. It is 102% of the cost, which is over a $100/week for a family, and normally closer to $200/week.
     
  7. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Considering that the operation is assumed to be $150,000 I think $1 or 2 hundred is nominal. The affordability for Joe depends on when the payments are due.
     
  8. ProudLefty

    ProudLefty Well-Known Member

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    Joe made a bad error. It may not be too late for him to remedy it. Never, ever, admit you got hurt at home. Make it job-related. Some how, if you get hurt at home, get to work on Monday and have your "accident" there, preferably with witnesses.

    Our whole system sucks. What happened to Joe happens way too often to people. Going 50 years without a serious injury or illness is not the norm, yet we treat it as the norm, and treat those who have accidents or illnesses as somehow lesser citizens, undeserving of full participation in America's wealth. Its a bizarre and cruel system, and held high by some as a virtuous outcome of rugged individualism. These people have not yet accepted that John Wayne is dead.
     
  9. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    The COBRA plan lets you take over the group insurance rate that your employer was getting. It was a life saver for me. It lasts for 18 months and gives you time to get an alternative plan.

    I like the idea of a drug crime. If he demands Oxycodone, he could use it to reduce pain until the cops come.
     
  10. ProudLefty

    ProudLefty Well-Known Member

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    If someone is unemployed, $200/week might as well be $20,000/week. Neither is attainable.

    Saying "He should have planned better" is just a silly suggestion.
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    What! John Wayne is dead!?! Oh, no! When Ronald Reagan dies, there will be no one left, and America will be gone forever.
     
  12. Openmind

    Openmind Well-Known Member

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    Oxycodone?!!!

    See how little I know! I was just prescribed loads of Oxycodone (well, about 120 pills) when I had my recent surgery, and I just took 2 and hated it!

    Just went down the toilet!

    You mean to tell me that people actually pay premium price for that crap?
    Only 2 upset my stomach for days!
     
  13. Openmind

    Openmind Well-Known Member

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    Very cute! ;):)
     
  14. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    You could have made a fortune selling that stuff on the street corner, until the cops caught you or the drug lord shot you.
     
  15. ProudLefty

    ProudLefty Well-Known Member

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    lol

    Rush Limbaugh would have paid you $5 per pill for those pills. ;)
     
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