Insurance

February 2009

I was insistent on not letting the issue go. I couldn’t believe what happened. How could this be happening in 2009? Did we just swear in a black man as President of the United States?

Munch woke up sick. Coughing and having trouble breathing. I was so worried. I called out sick and called the pediatrician. My baby was sick. They told me to take him to the hospital and that one of the doctor’s from the practice was there. I got him dressed and rushed out the door.

This was my first time at this particular hospital. Munch’s pediatricians are in a different state and I have a choice of hospitals. This one has a pediatric emergency room so it was definitely the optimal choice. I get there and check in with the receptionist. I’m trying to hold my fat baby (he weighs 25 pounds) and my purse.

The male receptionist asked me did I have insurance and I said “Yes”. As I began pulling out my card he asked me “Do you have Medicaid?” I was floored. Here was this white boy asking me do I have Medicaid. I’m carrying a child in designer clothes and a designer coat and carrying a designer handbag and you think  I have Medicaid?

I was offended. I said “No, I actually have a job that pays for our health insurance.” He said okay. I let it slide.

I got Munch in the back and met with the pediatrician. They gave him a breathing treatment and told me that he needs to rest. Upped his medications. The financial person for the hospital came to the room while he’s getting the treatment to get my co-pay for the emergency room visit.

I handed her my card as she charged $100. These dang administrators are worse than bill collectors. Can I please make sure my child is feeling better first? What the hell?

This hospital was getting on my nerves. I was one of the very few people of color there. I didn’t see one black doctor. Insurance games.

I reported the white guy at the check-in desk the next day. I called the hospital administration and registered a complaint. I explained that I didn’t judge those that were on Medicaid, but I worked hard to have great health insurance and I had never felt more disrespected or discriminated against.

A few hours later someone called me back and apologized profusely. They said that they would never allow a patron to be disrespected or discriminated against. They actually made the receptionist call me back personally and apologize.

I didn’t believe him when he said he didn’t mean anything by it. Whatever! Lies! You saw a nicely dressed black mother in her mid 30’s and you assumed I was on Medicaid?

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This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “I” is for Insurance. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July!  The 4th of July commemorates our adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence said that Americans were no longer under British rule. Instead, the thirteen British colonies came together to become our own country.

I know it seems that we live in a country of over stimulation and unpopularity, but it is still a great country. Not by those who choose to discriminate against us, but by the people who want and know how awesome America is. There is a lot wrong with us right now, but we are still here united and determined to make this country a great one.

One of the most famous passages of the Declaration of Independence is “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

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Remember that we are all created equally. We all have rights. We give government power. We are one. Happy 4th of July America!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Survive

I am a survivor. We are all meant to survive. The thing is that you can never give up. It is not in our nature to give up. We must keep pushing forward, no matter the situation. It’s in our blood. We survive.

Our capture.

We survived.

The slave ship.

We survived.

The auctioneer’s block.

We survived.

The heat.

We survived.

The beatings.

We survived.

The rape.

We survived.

Child bearing.

We survived.

Our children are survivors.

I am a child of a survivor.

I too have survived.

Child molestation.

I survived.

Rape.

I survived.

Sexual assault.

I survived.

Marriage.

I survived.

Divorce.

I survived.

Infidelity.

I survived.

Loss of a loved one.

I survived.

September 11th.

I survived.

The NYC blackout.

I survived.

Job loss.

I survived.

Poverty.

I survived.

Survival is in my blood. Nothing can stop that which God has destined for greatness. Trials and tribulations may come but we were meant to survive.

 

This post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt was survive.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

Motivational Monday Moment – 1/23/17

Today’s Motivational Monday Moment came to me over the last week. The word for today is faith. Faith as a noun is belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion. I was reminded to keep my faith last week.

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It was a rough week. While the view was beautiful. The road’s seemed impassable. The battle was long and uphill and I saw no break in the rough terrain.

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Everywhere I looked, I encountered more problems than resolutions and more pain than peace. I was really going through it. I began to question. Question was I good enough? Could I finish this race?

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I began to bemoan my situation. Why me O’ Lord? Why me? Why have thou forsaken me? Why do I have to endure the trials and tribulations of life on a consistent basis?

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I began to bargain…Lord, if you just let me catch a break I promise to be better. I promise to do more. I promise to…

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I began to be selfish. I allowed my own trials and tribulations to distract me from God’s will. I was being distracted. I was tried, tested and had failed because I had allowed my faith to become smaller than my situation. I knew better.

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I had to refocus my faith. My faith was being tested. There were going to be situations and trials that were determined to knock me off my path, but I would be steadfast and unmovable. I needed to get a hold onto my life and center my faith. All was not lost. I am not alone. I couldn’t sit here in wallow in my pity about my circumstance. I had to kneel in prayer. To go to the one who was the keeper of my spirit.

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To seek guidance. To know that all was not lost. To know that joy cometh in the morning. I can’t act like I don’t have problems because I do. But, I serve a God that is bigger than my problems. I just had to remember that.

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No time to sit here and bemoan my lot in life. I need to get back the pep in my step and hold my head up high. This race is not over. I will keep the faith. I will keep pushing and I will keep believing because I am not meant to be a victim, rather I’m meant to be a victor.

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I can’t lose my faith. We can’t lose our faith. Don’t worry about this post election drama. Don’t worry about things that seem out of control at the moment. You and I serve a mighty God. We’ve experienced both the best and worst of times and you know what? We will survive.

Vacation Chronicles: Tampa

I returned from a great weekend in Tampa bonding with my best friend yesterday and I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned about me on this mini-vacation of self-reflection. As many of you know, I’m doing a lot of soul searching during this time to try and find out what my needs are and what my wants are. Apparently, they’re not the same. LOL. So, I started from the minute I got to the airport and decided to jot down a few things that I learned or rediscovered about myself.

▪ I like flying. It’s only when I am taking off and my stomach does that flip and I think “Oh God, please don’t let us crash” that I truly realize what a blessing it is to be able to fly in an airplane. The best part about flying? When your airfare cost $2.10.
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▪ I can travel with one carry-on and not the whole world. I’m trying to downsize my wardrobe when traveling and only packing the essentials. This Tampa trip allowed me the opportunity to see if I could do it. You know what? I could and I did.
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▪ I like hotel living. Even after living in a hotel earlier this year for 4 1/2 weeks, there is something sweet about not having to make my bed or pick up my towels, wash clothes, cook or clean. Yep, I’m spoiled.

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▪ I can relax. I can actually sit back, relax and have a vacation without planning out every single aspect of the trip. I am letting go of my controlling tendencies and just going with the flow. Taking the road I think I should travel. No matter the length, I’m enjoying the ride.
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▪ I love sisterhood. My best friend and I have known each other since we were 13. This was the second time that we have traveled together and the first time for us traveling by ourselves. (not counting when she visited me almost every weekend when I lived in NYC) to sort of commemorate and renew our friendship. We had a very relaxing time.
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▪ I love the beach. I love water and I love sand. I love the feel of the sun kissing my skin so gently that my skin color turns a golden brown or as my friend described “a pretty orange color”.
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▪ I love trying new drinks that I’ve never tried. Especially when they’re cheap. I am a nerd with cool tendencies and I love it. Check out this cool drink I had called the purple nerd.
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▪ I’m simple. I like good food, family and friends. I also love a good book. Finished reading the entire Divergent Series. On to the next one. I think I’m going to read Black Women in White America by Gerda Lerner next.
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▪ I’m sharing. I’ve always been very private in my writing and sharing of information about myself, ideas and family and through encouragement from my bestie, I’ve learned to open up and let people in. This blogging and writing has become real and I love when people say that they can relate. It means you get me.

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This year has been one for the books. But, my faith has been strengthened and I am taking charge of my own destiny. I am looking into my future with courage instead of despair and believing, no knowing that I will be fine.

Is Ferguson a case of class warfare?

Ferguson, Missouri the scene of Michael Brown’s death last week has been put on the map. The New York Times reported that Ferguson has about 21,000 residents, in which 63% are black. There are 33% white and 3% other. What is interesting about this town (which is 20 minutes outside of St. Louis) is the fact that 92% of arrests are black residents and 86% of all stops are black residents. Astounding statistics, but I’m not surprised. In any small town populated by majority of blacks you probably will see the trend where the color of the police force doesn’t match the residents. With all the things that have happened and continue to happen in Ferguson since Michael Brown’s death, I’m left wondering is the bigger issue more of class than race?

The situation in Ferguson has escalated since the August 9th shooting. Last week the police chief released a video showing a “robbery” that the victim, Michael Brown, allegedly committed before he was shot. Michael Brown hadn’t even been buried yet. The police chief was trying to show cause for the officer shooting Brown. But, that video did nothing but escalate the tensions in an already ticking time bomb city. People were angry. The fact that the police chief seems incompetent has furthered their rage. So, in comes the governor trying to restore the order of things and he in fact makes it worse. He decides to set a curfew. He wanted to curb the civil unrest. But, tear gas and smoke into the crowds only made matters worse. On Sunday night, some protesters became violent and attacked the officers with firebombs and gunfire. Why? Don’t we need to focus on the issue? So, of course the governor announced yesterday that he will deploy the National Guard to restore order.

Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and I asked the question, what do you think about the situation in Ferguson? I told him, that I dread having to teach my son that he should always be respectful of others, but especially officers because I don’t want him “viewed as a suspect” and gunned down. His response…

“The problem with the “making sure our young men are respectable” argument is that Police target Black youth regardless. In fact they are targeting anyone they don’t think comes from wealth. While the media has made many of these incidents simply about race it points to a bigger problem of class warfare against lower income citizens. It just so happens that in this country the Black community for the most part is on the low end of the economic scale. This is why many Police have little regard for us. They’ll think someone White is more likely to have a higher income than a minority regardless of appearance. Go to any country and the citizens the Police abuse the most are poor people.

The only way Blacks can help stop these attacks and protect our civil rights is to have a greater economic base as a community that wields more influence on the Political Landscape and Legal system. The community is always so divided and selfish on so many levels that anything that would require cooperation and sharing is virtually impossible for us.

I just had a debate with a young guy on twitter. He doesn’t agree it’s about economics and thinks it’s just about skin color. I tried to explain that it’s deeper than that. If we had more power as a community then police would have to reform 1.Hiring practices 2.Police Procedures 3.Punishments for misconduct. A community only can push to get reforms through if they have economic weight. We don’t have any. We’re still the red headed stepchild of the US. We just have sprinkles of wealth among a few individuals but that’s it. We have trillions of dollars in spending power but it gets wasted on short term materialistic nonsense instead of being put to long term viable use. We’ve been playing Checkers for years and reacting instead of playing Chess and thinking steps ahead trying to proactively nip things in the bud.”

Deep huh? I thought so too. Another conversation with my girlfriends last night about Ferguson had me thinking that maybe my friend’s point of view had merit. She said, “The situation in Ferguson is being tainted by all the looters instead of the real issue which is the fact that this young man was shot. These people are not exercising their judicial rights of voting the people that they want in office. They can always write a letter to their attorney general for all the problems that they are facing with regards to the police.” I pondered her statement and then responded, “But how many black people know that?” I told her what my friend said, “This is a bigger issue than race, it is a class issue and how many of us in the middle class are doing enough to educate the lower class on their rights?”

Black people have gotten away from the grassroots efforts that we use to utilize in the 1950’s and 1960’s when we were fighting for Civil Rights and fair housing in our own communities. We began to create silos and sectioned ourselves from those who didn’t have as much as we did: money, education, connections. We became the haves and have nots. Our education became the fundamental difference between us and others. We moved into our big homes in neighborhoods that weren’t predominately black and started going to exclusive black clubs. We became bougie and disengaged from our brethren who couldn’t move out of the hood. Whether it be lack of economics or education, we didn’t try to bridge the gap of each one teach one.

Ferguson is not just a race issue but one of class warfare. Class warfare is defined on Dictionary.com as “the struggle for political and economic power carried on between capitalists and workers.” Isn’t this what my friend was just saying? Isn’t that the point of my girlfriend’s argument? Deeper than race. It’s economics and politics. Just last week, Peter Mccoy, wrote an article for Bloomberg Businessweek in which he said

“The map of St. Louis County, the home of Ferguson, looks like a shattered pot. It’s broken into 91 municipalities that range from small to tiny, along with clots of population in unincorporated areas. Dating as far back as the 19th century, communities set themselves up as municipalities to capture control of tax revenue from local businesses, to avoid paying taxes to support poorer neighbors, or to exclude blacks. Their behavior has ranged from somewhat parochial to flatly illegal.”

Class warfare right? But is there anything that we can do to change this? Probably not, because the issue is deeper than the poor blacks or poor whites in this country but one that unites us based on income levels. The richer have better opportunities to ensuring that their voices are being met because more money = more political power. I read this great article by Bill Moyers titled “The Great American Class War” whereby he talked about interviewing former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan about a documentary that he was doing for public television and how Justice Brennan worried about the “looming size of government”. This quote in the article about a speech that Justice Brennan made that went to the heart of the matter. He said:

“We do not yet have justice, equal and practical, for the poor, for the members of minority groups, for the criminally accused, for the displaced persons of the technological revolution, for alienated youth, for the urban masses… Ugly inequities continue to mar the face of the nation. We are surely nearer the beginning than the end of the struggle.”

So, can anything be done? Are we stuck in a class war that is brewing over and showing its ugly head in small town America? In an area, like Ferguson, will we continue to see the problems that America keeps trying to sweep under it’s rug because poor blacks don’t have the financial backing to ensure that their government elected officials are working for them? In an urban area, do we have to institute more grassroots efforts to educate the poorer classes on their rights and not just during election time?

We can’t let what we know and perceive to be true push us as a community to loot or be involved in illegal activities in spite of the misguided efforts of the elected government officials. Don’t resort to violence or you will forget that the point of the peaceful protests is to shed light on the injustices that occurred in that small town. The wheels of justice are slow, but they work as long as we are diligent and active and not combative to law enforcement. Remember, united as one, we shall overcome someday.

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