Go comment

A friend and collaborator makes a very good point in this tweet:

When you see something that you think is wrong in federal rule-making, go comment.

Comments must be read and at a broad level, they must be responded to by the regulating agency. The response might not be the on one that you want, as it is usually along the lines of “Yes, 33 comments expressed concern on Issue X impacting Issue Y, we will monitor that situation….” but it requires a response.

This is a form of effective feedback to our government so use it.

39 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    Thank you David. Good to have something we can do.

  2. 2
    Nora says:

    Thanks for posting this. I went and commented.

    Maybe we could have more action items like this?

  3. 3
    swiftfox says:

    When you see something say something

  4. 4
  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for this, Mayhew.
    Will spread the word.

  6. 6
    wormtown says:

    Could someone provided a little more info; or just give us the text of what we should comment? I don’t know any more about this issue than

    exempting white counties from Medicaid work requirements while requiring them from primarily black counties is wrong

    Feel like I need a bit more in a comment. thanks.

  7. 7
    MomSense says:

    This is OT but I thought I’d share anyway. When ACA first opened for enrollment my friend’s husband (Fox watcher) didn’t want her to sign the family up for health insurance because he thought it would be too expensive and complained about not having a thousand bucks lying around to give to Obama. I kept encouraging her and when she finally did look at options, it was less than $100 for her family of four. I think it was in the $80 range. When she told him, he didn’t believe it, insisted there must be a catch, didn’t trust Obama, and so on. Finally I told her to tell him that enrollment was almost complete, they just had to go to the local hospital to get chipped. HE BELIEVED THAT!

    Anyway, after teasing him mercilessly she signed up. They have had insurance since then and it was a good thing because he was injured at the wharf and almost lost his leg. Flash forward to this year, for some reason he stopped paying the premium and she got a notice saying that it needed to be paid. He said he would and then forgot again. They lost their insurance. Now he is mad because she explained to him that they can’t sign up again until the end of the year for insurance that starts the beginning of next year. Now he thinks that Obama screwed him and asked her what they are supposed to do if something happens to one of them.

    You cannot fix Fox stupid. Can you guess who he voted for?

  8. 8
    JaneE says:

    Done. Thanks for the link.

  9. 9
    MomSense says:

    Just added a comment.

  10. 10
    Citizen Alan says:


    You should recommend a good divorce attorney. I’m pretty sure divorce is a qualifying event, so she could get insurance back afterwards and leave him to wallow in his own stupidity.

  11. 11
    Redshift says:


    Could someone provided a little more info; or just give us the text of what we should comment? I don’t know any more about this issue

    Here is an article (from the Twitter thread) that explains how the application exempts high unemployment counties, which just happens to let heavily white rural areas off the hook while putting work requirements on “urban” populations.

  12. 12
    sherparick says:

    @wormtown: There are correlation statistics in demographics. The most common one in this grift is white, rural counties, will usually have higher unemployment rates then heavily populated urban counties, where the poverty in some sections are counterbalanced by high wealth and economic activity through most of the counties. Those urban poverty centers, tend to be where the African American and Hispanic users of Medicaid are located. Hence, using the “unemployment” rate of a particular county is a way to relieve white rural poor from the stigma of doing through the paper work drill of a work requirement while burdening Blacks and Hispanics and stigmatizing them as “lazy” and “shiftless.” Further, the purpose of this program is to get people kick off Medicaid by inserting complicated and repetitive reporting requirements on people who are actually working and have a hard time getting off work to submit the paperwork, meet in the offices, resubmit paperwork when first set of paperwork is lost or “errors” or found, etc, to the point someone just says “fuck it.”

  13. 13
    lurker dean says:

    Done and shared. The blatant racism is unreal.

  14. 14
    sherparick says:

    @MomSense: I am sure he goes on an on about “personal responsibility” and how Blacks and immigrants have none. He knows this because Fox News tells him so.

  15. 15
    Redshift says:

    I’m in:

    Exempting high unemployment counties (which just happen to be rural counties with heavily white populations) is thinly disguised discrimination. Lower unemployment doesn’t necessarily mean there are jobs for the Medicaid population, and if the concern is to prevent able-bodied recipients from taking advantage of the system, refusal to move where the jobs are should not be an excuse. Work requirements are addressing a problem that doesn’t exist, but if they’re used, they should be applied equitably.

  16. 16
    ProudGradofCatLadyAcademy says:


    This was my job for 3 Years.I frequently made determinations including compassion reinstatements for members who just did not pay their bills. If she would like to a consult I can review her billing history and situation and then advise if she could in effect throw herself on the mercy of the billing specialist at the insurance company. I offer my services under https://www.fiverr.com/robinheine/call-your-health-insurance-company-and-explain-your-benefits on Fiverr. Seriously it would be five bucks. Please encourage her to at least ask, because she may be surprised to find that there are very compassionate people working at the billing service who get that things happen, and would grant a one time reinstatement for her. I know I did this a lot at UHC.

    So that offer out of the way, this was a common scenario, the members at UHC would not understand billing cycles, or that yes, if you want that tax credit and the Marketplace requests your tax documents and you don’t send it in, lose the tax credit and don’t pay the full premium price we are terming you for nonpayment. Or worse, claims would not be paid, and it was “Obama’s fault” . No, your issues with the health insurance company are separate from the ACA law. I’d have to explain to members all the time that “Obummercare” is not your health insurance company and your claims or billing issues are with the company not the ACA.

    I hope it works out for your friend!

  17. 17
    chopper says:

    done and done. sending the link around for what it’s worth.

  18. 18
    Immanentize says:

    @ProudGradofCatLadyAcademy: That is a fabulous service! I never imagined it would exist because so little is set up to help poor people in these situations.

    I salute you and I have passed your web link on to a woman I know who runs a SS/poverty health legal clinic. You may have just saved lots of people tons of pain. Thank you.

  19. 19
    bookdragon says:

    @Redshift: Based on this, I have a Modest Proposal: if you live in urban area affected by this rule change, move to a rural area that is not. In fact, gather up a big group of people in a similar situation and move en masse – like pioneers crossing the prairie – to one of these rural counties and plant yourselves there. Let the legislators making these rules get at look at those consequences.

    Heck, people probably wouldn’t even need to really do it, just make a big show of organizing to do it on facebook and twitter. That’ll scare the powers that be into rethinking this more effectively than public comments on a govt site.

  20. 20
    Ohio Mom says:

    @ProudGradofCatLadyAcademy: That is a very nice offer, Proud Grad. Whenever I call people who have jobs like your old one, I try to be kind and funny, and remind them I know that they weren’t on the committee that passed whatever policy it is that is giving me grief.

    As for making a comment on those rotten work requirements, Done! And that was fun. I always enjoy writing an arch note. I second the suggestion that we continue to be given similar action items.

  21. 21
    Ohio Mom says:

    @bookdragon: If your idea was even remotely possible (for one, where would all those transplanted urbanites find housing in the sticks, there simply aren’t enough rentals out there) all those people of color would probably scare all the white ruralites away. There’d be white flight back into the city. An amusing scenario, as fictional as it is.

  22. 22
    RedDirtGirl says:

    Done and done!
    ETA: And tweeted to my 22 followers, most of whom saw it here, too.

  23. 23
    Lymie says:

    I love the line in the rule about better health being associated with employment. Are those yahoos too stupid to understand which direction the causation goes?

    Also added a comment to the site.

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:


    I hope that you don’t mind, but I’m sharing your response.

  25. 25
    ProudGradofCatLadyAcademy says:


    Oh my gosh you made my day! Just calling insurance companies and explaining in plain English to people their benefits can be so helpful. I know people can go online and look at their benefits and also call the insurance companies’ customer service line themselves but customer service agents can be a jaded and undertrained lot who just want to get their average handle time under 2 minutes so may not want to take the time with someone. Also, they have to use company vetted and approved verbiage and may not be as adept at then translating it into plain understandable English. An advocate can be so beneficial in those circumstances.

    I am in the middle of a move first to Eugene, OR on 6.28.2018 and then Portland OR a few months later. Cliff notes version:

    New role at UHC as a case install for new business did not work out, and was fired and unemployment denied. In hindsight I should have withdrew my application and taken the layoff and severance package and waited for a better job role offer than taking the first one. I did not know I could have done that was told if I didn’t take the first job offer I’d lose my unemployment benefit option and would not qualify for the severance package.
    Depths of despair last Friday,(family issues also) including very dark thoughts and almost attempt at making me not be here on this plane of existence. Decided I wanted one last cup of coffee in bed and read my news/blogs.
    Read about Anthony Bourdain, came here and read the Bourdain threads and based on those threads and decided that even in such despair there is hope. seriously you all saved my life that day. .
    Called my best friend out in Eugene, told him what happened. He kindly offered let me move there while I do some very deep work. He’s moving to Portland in a few months and I am going with him also. Neither of us think just moving is going to be the panacea, but one of the issues is how much I hate where I am and have since I moved back from Chicago 10 years ago. Like he said, “you still will have to do some hard work but you can do it in place where you aren’t so alone and miserable.”
    Have hope for the first time in about 10 years and am trying to figure what can be sold, donatewhat really is truly necessary and can fit in two suitcases for my airplane ride in two weeks. I like it!

    I am …well we will say healing I am safe and I have support here now. I have a couple of action plans for safety and for moving forward with my life. and only say all of the above because I have to thank you all, the FPs writing and the comments over the last weekend on Anthony Bourdain saved my life and I haven’t been able to do so in a full open thread. Also, because I am going on vacation mode on Fiverr next week but will return after I am settled in Eugene. My life savings are not very much-YAY! working class life!- and I will need to find income and side hustles once there. So if your friend looks for me and it says I am a vacation that is why. I probably will return and reopen it after the July 4th weekend.

    And seriously, you all saved my life last weekend. Thank you.

    Okay back to lurking! I just wanted to say thank you for the affirmation that my Fiverr idea is a good one and also to let you all know that your comments and this blog actually saved a life last week.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    On a different subject: separating kids from their parents at the border, I made a Ron Johnson completely uncomfortable and stumbleing of his words by asking him in the course a discussion how he could justify working for someone who put kids in camps separate from their parents like Nazis did? The young man ended up stammering.

  27. 27
    bookdragon says:

    @Ohio Mom: I thought all those towns were dying. You know, people moving away, kids leaving… seems like there should be be some empty places to begging for tenants, or fixer-uppers a group could pool funds to purchase cheap, eh?

    I know it’s a fantasy, but the idea of the rural whites running back to the cities and the legislators who passed this idiocy finding the …complexion… of their constituency suddenly shifted because of it makes me smile.

  28. 28
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    Done, and thank you. I’d like to reiterate what several commenters have already observed: I appreciate these action items, and would like to participate in more.

  29. 29
    westyny says:

    Is this being litigated? It strikes me at least as illegal as redlining or the gerrymandering in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Will call.

  30. 30
    Ohio Mom says:

    @ProudGradofCatLadyAcademy: Don’t go back to lurking, stay with us!

    I have to sign off for the day, else I won’t get anything done, but before I do, here is one of my favorite prayers from the Reform Jewish prayerbook just for you:

    Once or twice in a lifetime,
    a man or a woman may choose
    a radical leaving, having heard
    Lech l’cha [note: that is transliterated Hebrew] — Go Forth.

    God disturbs us toward our destiny
    by hard events
    and by freedom’s new urgent voice
    which explode and confirm who we are.

    We don’t like leaving,
    But God loves becoming.

  31. 31
    kindness says:

    Left my comment at that link. Thank you very much for cluing us in. I was polite but straight forward.

    Not sure under this Administration it will matter but I will step up and do my bit to fight for what is right any how. Because it’s the right thing to do.

  32. 32
    MomSense says:


    OH MY DOG THANK YOU! Sending her the link now.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:


    Please stay with us. I’m so glad you were able to reach out and find support. {{{{{{{{{{proudgradofcatladyacadamy}}}}}}}}}}}.

  34. 34
    blackcatsrule says:

    @ProudGradofCatLadyAcademy: This strikes home to me as well. So glad that you are taking the steps to help and heal yourself.

    Left a comment on the Medicaid thread. Thank you for making us aware of this.

  35. 35
    Chet says:

    I recommend reading the rest of the comments after you’ve submitted your own. I did so and was heartened that the vast majority of them are against the rule change altogether. Some of them say the idea itself is anathema to that of a social safety net, and others point out the “coincidentally” disproportionate effect on white vs. nonwhite recipients. It was only on page 3 that I found the first comment supportive of the rule change. Yeah, it was all about strapping young bucks spending my hard earned tax dollars on steaks and BMWs.

    Then there’s this one:

    We have earned these benefits, by being loyal employees so to try and find a way to cut them is sad, it’s as if we are being punished for living a long life. So stop punishing for living

    Although I agree with this person, I am pretty sure they’re talking about Medicare, not Medicaid. More evidence of this: they submitted the comment twice in a row.

  36. 36

    @sherparick: @Redshift: The issue is discrimination on the basis of population density. This was baked into the foundation of the 1787 Constitution at a time when no one could have imagined that blacks would ever have rights; population density was the sole and all-purpose meta-metric of righteousness. To a great extent, it still is. This is only one of the very numerous reasons why the 1787 Constitution is not valid and must be replaced. Our job today is to make simple but concrete proposals towards its replacement.

  37. 37
    Ramalama says:

    @ProudGradofCatLadyAcademy: Brilliant. I hope you get lots of work!

  38. 38
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Frank Wilhoit: I don’t trust the other side with any rewriting of the constitution. Let’s stick to nibbling around the edges for now.

  39. 39
    Duane says:

    Comment made. Thanks David. The meanness of this bunch must make Satan proud.

Comments are closed.