It’s been nearly a year since I was rushed into my local Emergency Room while having a heart attack. Quite a lot has happened over the last twelve months and I figured I would take a moment this afternoon and let you know what’s come of it all.
This is part of my Medical Crisis series.
On with the Update….
What Did the VA Decide?
For those of you that don’t know, after my heart attack, and after my hospital stay, I received a phone call stating the VA has decided they don’t have to pay the medical bills.
So, the hospital asked, “How do you want to pay for that?”
Right. Because I just so happen to have $70,000 + lying around in my couch cushions.
To make a long story short, the hospital accepted $25 / month payments on the contingency that I was appealing with the VA.
Then, silence. Of course, the VA went out of their way to tell the Emergency Room biller that I had no appeals pending, which meant I either paid their $700 bill off completely or they send me to collectors.
Way to go, VA. You idiots!
Months passed. Whenever I called to check on the status, the rep would reassure me, “Oh, it’s the next one to be looked at. I’m sure it’s going to work out. The VA did this to me, too. It just happens. They’ll figure it out.”
After ten months, I get a package in the mail from the VA stating:
- Since Congress passed a law stating we don’t have to pay, we’re not going to pay.
- It does not matter what the local VA representative told you a year before.
- It does not matter that they could have resolved my out-of-compliance status by having me see the ER doctor the year before
- You were given a member’s book, so you should have known. But, even if you weren’t given a book, still doesn’t matter. Congress has put a law in that allows us to screw you so that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
Bankruptcy Hanging Over my Head
So, at this point, I was literally screwed. I had already spoken with an attorney who said they would definately take the Eden Property, and there was even a good chance they would take my house out from under me since I owned it outright, paid very little for it during the recession, and property values have more than doubled in my area.
I was going to lose my home, my property, everything I had just spent the last five years building.
Rent has doubled in my area (every area I imagine) so there was no way I was going to find a place to rent. This meant I would be handed a check for my exemption and I would be on the streets.
Granted, the exemption in my state is actually more than what I paid for the house to begin with. So, I’m still better off than most people this happens to.
But, it shouldn’t be happening to a Veteran at all.
So, this is what I sat with for ten months. Trying to get myself mentally and logistically ready to be stripped of all my assets and sent to the street corner, all because I had the nerve to expect my country, my government to honor the obligations they made to me when I was 17 years old.
How dare I, right?
The Great News I Got Today
After I received the denial letter, I immediately resubmitted a Bill Reduction request with the local hospital, including a written letter explaining what the VA had done to me, the lies they had told, and their explanation of why they were skipping out on the bill they had an obligation to pay. It couldn’t hurt to try. The worse they could do was say no and come after me and I was already prepared for that eventuality.
So, more waiting.
One week turned into two weeks, then three. I finally got the nerve up to call the hospital and asked if they’d even gotten the letter.
Stranger things have happened, right? For all I know, it got lost in the mail and ended up in Hawaii.
But, the rep in the business office said, “Actually, it was received a few days after you sent it. It was forwarded to our Manager who approved a bill reduction for 100% of the outstanding bill.”
I was dumbfounded. Beyond words. I couldn’t believe it!
Today, a week after the phone call, I receive a new statement in the mail from the hospital, and sure enough, it has a zero balance on it. $70,000 debt wiped clean.
The sheer fortune is astounding. I’m beside myself. In one decision, my entire life has been handed back to me. And, yet, all I can think about are the countless other people out there who are not as fortunate as I am. Those who have their entire lives ruined, all because the VA thinks it’s okay to welch on their obligations.
So, now I return to my life where I set it down a year ago. I get the opportunity to begin again on the Eden Property, on my lifelong dream to live as a hermit, in solitude and isolation. On top of that, I’ve made it through a series of major hurdles at work and now have the perfect work schedule and quality of life.
I’ve since had to sign up for Medicaid, because the VA has made it crystal clear they have no desire to honor the promises they’ve made to me. As soon as I got out of the hospital, they immediately refused to pay for my medications. For two months, I had to pay out of pocket.
Once they started paying for my meds, then they started tacking on co-pays. First $5 per medication. Then, within a month, that tripled to $15 per med. Then $24 per med.
When I reduced my hours at work, I submitted a request for them to knock it off. “I’ve lost most of my income, stop charging me! Never mind that you promised FREE HEALTH CARE for the rest of my life.”
So, now I get the free medical care I was promised, just not from the VA.
Criminals. Every last one of them.
But, in the end, it appears as if I’ve been given a second chance (despite the VA’s and Congress’ best efforts to make me homeless). I’ve been given another chance to achieve my goals. Realize my dreams. I’ve been given the opportunity to live the rest of my life in paradise, in seclusion, in peace and tranquility. I’ve got the perfect job, the perfect schedule, the perfect location on the planet to quietly and patiently watch and wait for the second coming. And, if not, it will serve as the perfect place for me to die and return to the earth.
I hope they never find my body.
My focus now is on slowly and systematically building up the Eden Property for full-time living. Once moved over completely, I hope to sell my house and put the money away as a nestegg to live off of whenever my job finally ends (I’m sure one day it will).
When at Eden, I plan to manage my land, most of which will be used as a wood lot for subsistence firewood. I will also be building a vegetable garden for cool crops, and a floating green house for hot crops in the summer (and cool crops in the winter when most of the shoreline is underwater).
I want to devote myself to writing fiction books, non-fiction books and online classes, to my uThM program, and my upcoming uPhD program, as well as taking care of and selling bonsai trees, dabble in carving as an art form, and create a paradise on earth on the land through creative and sustainable permaculture activities.
Oh, and of course, hanging in my hammock alot.
I’ll be eating more vegetables from my own plot, catching fish as my main source of meat, and paddling the hour trip in my kayak to the store for staples.
I also hope to launch three, maybe four podcasts in the near future.
So, things are definitely looking up and I’m really excited to see how it all shakes out.
Hopefully this will be the last article in this series….On to bigger and better things.
Excerpt from Seeking Light Aurora:
Thomas opened the front door of the diner and leaned inside, holding himself up by the door frame.
“What’s the matter?” Terrance said, looking away from Peg and Carol. They were all huddled together at the counter.
“Her truck is still freaking out. I’ll try to keep her busy for as long as I can, but I’m running out of ideas.”
He looked over at Derrick who was quietly sitting at the back booth reading one of his books.
“You’ve got to keep her busy,” Terrance said. “We don’t have any other choice.”
“Look –” Thomas hesitated. “This isn’t all on me you know. I’ve already told you. I don’t know jack shit about trucks or engines. I’m sure as hell not a mechanic.”
“It’ll be fine,” Peg said.
“We all know there’s nothing I can do to fix that truck.” Thomas was shaking his head. “She’s going to figure out that something’s up. What if she starts asking questions?”
“Stall her,” Terrance said. “We just have to keep her busy for a little while. Remember, whatever it takes.”
“But, what about –” Carol had tears welling up.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Terrance said. “We’ve all been through this before.” He looked at Thomas. “Just take a deep breath and relax.”
“Relax my ass,” Thomas said. “Save that bullshit for her, okay?”
“Just keep her occupied in the garage as long as you possibly can. She’s focused right now on getting her truck fixed, so use that.”
“Whatever you say.” Thomas pushed off the door frame and let the door close behind him.
“It’s not going to work,” Carol said. “She’ll figure out something is wrong and that will be it.”
Terrance put his hand on Carol’s arm, gently trying to reassure her.
“It’ll work, Carol,” he said. “Have faith. It’ll work. Whatever it takes.”
Buy my book Seeking Light Aurora to find out what in the world is going on at this strange, out of the way diner in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness!
Click here and grab your copy today! Buy the three book omnibus and get the ENTIRE story for less!
But, you better strap in, because this is definitely not child’s play. People are getting hurt right and left – it just might be you next!