A note on how checking the facts can lead to interesting results.

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Here is a follow up I wrote to this article after a lot of controversy arose because of it.

This is one of the numerous “I am the 99%” photographs that is floating around the internet. I got this one from facebook, when a friend of a friend posted it.

I haven’t spent a lot of time pulling these posters apart, because it just seems like a waste of time. These people aren’t interested in listening to logic or truth, but this one was so blatantly ridiculous that I had to deal with it. Also because it is about my state and about issues that are close to me, as I also had difficulty getting on AHCCCS last year when I had to have several tests done to diagnose a neurological disorder that I have.

So we’ll start small and end up proving that, whatever else the man in the above picture is, he is a liar.

He says that he made minimum wage, which up until recently was $7.35 an hour in this state. He also says that he worked part time, so 30 hours or less. (If your definition of part time is different from that, please let me know. That is the definition at my current job.)

If he worked 30 hours a week, ever week, he would make $882 dollars a month, before taxes. I’m going from what he has said, though I find it quite unbelievable that he was actually paid minimum wage. Most pizza delivery jobs pay less than minimum wage because of tips.

Which are not including in the income information that AHCCCS asks for. I should know. I spent enough time staring at those forms.

The maximum amount that an adult single person can make and still qualify for AHCCCS is $908, before taxes. The man in the picture does not mention having any family, so that is the amount I will use in this analysis.

So at this point we have found that if he was working full time at minimum wage, as he says, that he would in fact be in the right income level to be accepted by AHCCCS.

Now we move into the realm of why, even if he was making more than $908 a month, he would still be lying through his teeth, or he just wasn’t trying very hard to get AHCCCS coverage.

I made slightly over $1000 a month at the job I had when I was trying to get AHCCCS coverage. As a single female, that was over the limit and I was told that I would be denied AHCCCS unless I included the bills for the procedures that I had already had (at that point I think it was several trips to a Neurologist, 2 MRIs, and a Lumbar puncture) and they would be pro-rated against the amount I made each month.

I did exactly that (or my dad did, I wast still recovering from the lumbar puncture). At one point I had to stand in line for 2 hours at the local AHCCCS office to talk about my policy, but guess what? I got a bright shiny AHCCCS card. The coverage only lasted about 6 months, but it significantly helped me with my bills and prescriptions for medication.

As for his assumption about Churches and Private Institutions not paying for medical bills. I wouldn’t know, I never tried to get one to pay my bills. However, despite some of my issues with religious organizations I have been a part of in the past, I will say one thing. There was not a single time that a call went out for assistance on medical (or other monetary issues) where the members of the church did not give willingly to help those in their congregation. Even those that had only a little more than those in question, gave willingly.

As for private institutions, a 20 second google search found several lists(1, 2, 3) of private, federal, and state organizations for cancer patients. (I stuck with cancer as that is the same disease that that the man in the picture had). I do not know how affective these organizations are, nor how difficult it is to get assistance from these programs, but they are there. So his statement that churches and private organizations will not pay your medical bills (or help at the very least) is completely false.

There, I feel better.

Check the facts more often. It reveals interesting things.

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54 Comments

  1. This was floating around my facebook and was posted by a friend from high school who I know to be liberal, but also is fighting breast cancer. She was like, “enough said”.
    I LOVE this! It’s a sad, sad twist of the truth. I definitely don’t get it. I know there are horror stories that MUST exist, but those stories exist from those with insurance as well. But Lori was right, the left knows people accept it, period. Ack.

  2. Actually, he’s one of the 1%, the 1% of Americans who result in 21.8% of healthcare expenditures. If he was actually just earning minimum wage, he was one of the 3% doing so.

    Hmmm…1% * 3% = He’s in the statistical 0.03% – a sad statistical anomaly and little else in the greater context.

    • I assumed nothing. I used the information give, the information the man in the picture chose to make available, and analyzed it with facts about minimum wage, part time hours, and AHCCCS. Given that, the man’s story is not believable. Exactly which part of my facts do you disagree with?

      • Are you interested in actually finding out what’s going on before you leap to ridiculous assumptions? It might be a good idea before you call someone a liar.

        The image up there is mine.

        https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150593687190234.674250.850820233&type=1

        http://protoguy.blogspot.com/

        I was paid minimum wage, and yes, at the lower ‘server’ rate of $4.25 an hour. I was also working a second job as an actual server. This added up to about 60 hours a week. The diagnosis, at Stage IV, came up quickly after a short period of illness in which I had to quit the server job and cut my hours back to about 20 at Pizza Hut. The day I was diagnosed, I knew the insurance Pizza Hut offered wouldn’t cover something like cancer, so I went straight to DES, knowing I had no other option, as my sign says.

        I never got a straighter answer as to why I was initially denied than, “You make too much”. It appears that the quickness of the onset and diagnosis meant that though I was not making enough to be disqualified, they don’t count just your last paycheck stub, and the ones from when I was healthy counted more than they should have.

        I was not given advice about previous procedures or pro-rating anything, even after dealing with three different DES employees. I stood in line for three hours as well, three different times. I finally got the shiny card too, but only after I came back that third time – after I had lost my ability to work.

        As I said, cancer made it a moot point.

        My ‘assertions’ about churches and private institutions are based on my experience, not “stuff people told me”. My roommate and I had received help from our church before but were unwilling to help us further. The two other churches we went to offered us some food and clothes. I joined and asked for help from the American Cancer Society, LiveStrong, SPOHNC, dozens of others. They all offer copious amounts of support, help with finding places to stay while getting treatment, even help with prescriptions. Nothing about covering medical costs – which means nothing anyway if the hospital won’t admit you without at least 10% up front. My surgery alone was $85,000. Chemo and radiation after that? Haven’t seen the bill yet. No church or civic group is going to be able to raise upwards of $8,500 just to get me admitted, not in any liveable timeframe. And then cover another $8 or $9k?

        This isn’t about church people’s unwillingness to be generous. I am not saying that at all because I know that isn’t the truth. I’ve met too many generous people to peg one group like that.

        It’s interesting how your pale assumptions lead you to such certainty. You say “I wouldn’t know, I never tried to get one to pay my bills”, but then you say my statement is completely false, based on things you heard people say or things you ‘believe’ to be the case with no actual personal experience.

        But I’m glad you feel better.

  3. Yes you are a pretend writer, your facts are more like assumptions. The assumptions you make in your story do nothing to prove your argument! Assumption checking does not equal fact checking, you obviously don’t have all the facts!

    • 30 hours is the most you can work and still be considered part time. He either worked 30 hours a week, or less. He specifically notates that he had “part time insurance” in the note he wrote. Therefore my explanation of minimum wage x 30 hours a week = maximum amount he could make in a week, is perfectly accurate.

      If he worked more than part time on a regular basis (since AHCCCS checks income based off your last 4 pay stubs) then he would make too much to be put on AHCCCS, but in that case he was still lying when he said he worked part time.

      That also wouldn’t negate my point out using his medical bills to get on AHCCCS.

    • My point was that what he wrote on that sign, based on actually facts and reality, is false. He lied to make others feel sorry for him. Of course my points are based on what he wrote on that sign, I do not know him personally. However he put that sign out there on the internet, as a plea of “oh poor me, look at what the rich have done to me, feel sorry for me” and what he wrote was a lie. His story isn’t consistent with reality.

    • Facts are facts. Exactly which facts are incorrect? Everything that I posted about AHCCCS, minimum wage, and part time hours, is accessible online through state and federal websites. Every part of my personal experience with AHCCCS can be corroborated by speaking to actual AHCCCS officials if you want to take the time to do so.

      What exactly is “Right Wing Reality” anyway?

      Is it demanding that facts are facts, that they can’t be twisted around to support lies. Is it demanding that people tell the truth, instead of lying about their life to support bad governmental policy? Or is it just the fact that I disagree with you and you have no facts to back up your viewpoint so your only defense is “Oh yeah! Well you’re a conservative! neener neener neener!”?

    • It’s funny, LaBass; she has substantiating links and numbers to refer to and check against and you’ve got what exactly? A big chip on your shoulder and a hard-on for attacking anyone who hasn’t failed in life?

      Go back to squatting in a tent or box in some park and holding up some lame neo-Socialist protest sign and leave Americans in peace.

      • Thank you.

        I wouldn’t have such and issue with people like this if they bothered to back up their claims with substantiating facts, but they never do. They just pretend that the facts that I have provided aren’t “good enough” so my point is invalid. UGH!

      • Wow jonolan is just full of facts, I enjoy attacking people who have not failed in life, I am squatting in a tent in a park holding up a lame neo-Socialist sign, and I am not an American! Now that would be a good example of your Right Wing Reality. Thank you jonolan! Cheat, deny, lie,obstruct, spread hate and fear and “win at any cost!”

        • And Left Wing Reality is “avoid answering any of the questions I’m asked, criticize other people’s facts without giving any of my own, irrationally go around telling people that facts aren’t actually facts, and never give a straight answer”.

          Somehow I think my reality is quite a bit closer to the real thing than yours is.

          • Perhaps your “story” would sound better by stating that “there seems to be a problem here with this poster”, then state what you believe to be the facts, but that would require you to get out of the way of your “ego”. Instead you prefer to just call the man a liar as a matter of fact. That is what I don’t care for! Who made you judge and jury? I’m not saying that you are wrong, I just don’t care for the way you wrote your story, but that is just my opinion. I’m sure Jo would agree that Americans are entitled to their opinions, but then Jo doesn’t include me in that group.

            • A lie is a lie, even if it doesn’t make people feel good to hear the word applied to something they have said. I also mentioned later in the post that he was either a liar, or wasn’t trying very hard to get what he wanted from AHCCCS.

              It is a lie because he couldn’t not, based on the information he claims is true, possibly have been ineligible for AHCCCS. He also says there are no private organizations that will help pay for your medical bills, also a lie.

              You are entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to tell you that I (and the facts) believe it is wrong. I also am entitled to say that a person is lying, if the facts and the way they have presented themselves, shows them to be a liar.

              I resent that you call this a “story” as it is not. It is all factual information about how AHCCCS and medical care and employment are carried out in the state of Arizona.

            • You’re entitled to your opinion…no matter how dimwitted. But the fact that we have reason and intellect (even if you choose not to use it) that makes us judge and jury on facts that are presented to us. The fact that you abrogate your responsibility to judge all facts as they are presented to you does not make us to blame when we choose to use our brains.

    • If we should have more facts, then he should have provided them. What he did provide makes does not match this little thing called reality. It is not our fault the argument he provided is crap, nor is it our fault that your argument is whinny, childish, and a series of non-sequitors, and it is not our fault to notice them and call them what they are.

  4. Working 10 hours a week is also considered part time. Just because he doesn’t mention having a family doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a family…

    You should not be calling this “Fact Checking” unless you know the actual facts.

    Let’s hope we hear from the man in the photo.

  5. I have known the man in the photo for ten years. Your argument is utter bullshit. I don’t use the word lightly. It’s quite hilarious to me that you have picked the one ‘We are the 99%’ photo I have seen that I know absolutely to be true to break down.

    On a side note – have you ever worked in a fast food restaurant? I have. Part time. I was lucky to get more than three hours a week, and they varied.

    Good luck with slating cancer patients, I hope it goes well for you.

  6. This happens to be a personal friend of mine. He is NOT a liar by any means and goes about his life in a very humble manner. His depth of thought and compassion obviously outweigh any sense of decency and tact that you could ever hope to have. You are a pompous, egotistical idiot who spends her time attempting to tear down another’s struggles from behind a monitor. I am not a religous person so I can’t say ‘God will forgive you for your sins’… but I can say that I forgive you for your lack of simple humanity and have nothing but pity for you and yours for having to deal with you.

  7. I saw not one FACT checked in your article, only assumptions based on your pre-disposed bias. You present falsehoods, and become a liar, in attempting to “prove” someone else is lying. Perhaps you’ve never had to really work for a living with no safety net beneath you, or feel your have a right to everything. But there are those who do work their entire lives, such as this man (who, yes, I do know, and whose story is 100% true)—who do everything “right,” and are still screwed over by a system that cares only for profit—and who are left for dead if anything does happen. Your personal experiences do not equate to fact or law in every other person’s life.
    I also know for a FACT that this man has responded to this thread here, and that you seem to be either too chickenshit to let him respond, or that you are too unwilling to have your “facts” shown up as patently false and full of holes.

  8. what is wrong with you chick? your tweet said you had finished with your lab. you actually attend school. i think you need to start with kindergarten. are you using Guy’s case as your lab project? Guess what, you will get a friggin’ “F” for Friggin jerk! You have no facts and your grammar sucks lady.

  9. First, allow me to congratulate you on your bad grammer and even less inviting spelling.

    Second, allow me to fix your perspective. I KNOW THIS MAN. Every last bit of information on his sign is true.

    Ahcccs, Arizona Ahcccs specifically, is the LEAST likely state-provided insurance in the COUNTRY to provide to single adult men. As a single female, you would have NO idea what that can be like.

    Part-time is considered anything under 32 hours. Which means a person can work three weeks at 40 hours, and as long as the fourth week is under 32 hours the company can get away with paying you part-time wages. It is only in the past few years that the base wage went up to $7.35 – Guy worked DECADES for his company at less than the current base wage.

    You also seem to have forgotten that companies do NOT always follow the rules, and in fact they very rarely do. The part-time insurance he was PAYING FOR did not cover cancer treatment. In all actuality, if you look at most basic insurance, it does not even cover all the costs of a regular doctor’s visit – let alone hospital, dental, eye exam, etc. Those are extra, which means you have to PAY extra for it. Consider the cost of living. He has expenses to be paid, between a car, phone, and living. One could say those are extras he could do without. Try this – live on your sidewalk, without a phone, and go about your “normal” schedule without a car for a month straight and see how well you do. If the average apartment is roughly 600-700$ (and I base this off the prices shown on HIS apartments website), then you add in utilities, we’ll say about 80$ a month, and add electricity, say another 80$ just to be sure, that alone comes out to his wage. Oh wait, you calculated his wage BEFORE taxes were taken out. My bad, now he is paying out MORE than he is earning, just for living expenses. That does not include food, clothing, transportation, a phone to contact people in an emergency (think a pay-as-you-go phone, since those are the cheapest), and oh lookie, that does not allow any excess room for him to purchase extra insurance.

    And then he lost his job. No money to cover all these expenses, PLUS cancer? Ahcccs would definitely take him then, because now he is a person with a story – a person who can rally the masses to vote against any policies Ahcccs wants to do in the future. Before, he was just another person – no one especially special to them.

    Churches. I am going to try to keep this short, because religion in general is not my kind of thing, however much experience I have had with them. I am a mother of one, whose father left when he was 5 months old. Previous to that, during my pregnancy, we were living in his house. People from the mormon church came every few weeks to see how everyone was doing. But you know what? A single mother with four boys – one a parapalegic – could NOT get money from the church to help her family because ALL of them did not go to church every sunday or attend events on wednesdays. The only reason they even came to the house? Because her oldest did. But no, the church would not even help their own people out because they did not show up regularly. So much for the church helping people, yes?

    You really should take into consideration ALL the facts before attacking another human being with fallacies such as you have posed. Yes, the “facts” of wages are available, but you do not have his personal life story, and therefor could never know what has ACTUALLY happened to him to place him in the position he came into – the position stated on his sign. I know this man. The world would be a poorer place for the loss of him, whether they realize it or not.

    Have a fine day accusing others of being liars 😉

  10. Why don’t you ask the man yourself? I know him personally, he’s an amazing guy with a family and despite what you are trying to say about how he is “lying” every single thing he said in that sign is the truth.
    The cancer damn near killed him, and it’s by the grace of.. well whatever the hell you believe in, that he managed to beat it for now.

    I found this article because he posted it on his Facebook, so do some more investigating, find him, and actually talk to him instead of sticking with your theory that he’s a bold-faced liar.

  11. Why are you people so obsessed with attacking each other? Stop playing the liberal versus conservative smear campaign in every comment and just be people for god’s sake. You can agree or disagree with what she posited without resorting to “oh but those liberals do x” and “conservatives are all y.” That just invalidates your comment as far as I’m concerned because it’s built on anger and bias. Fox news is a proven source of misinformation so many liberals do have an angry spot toward conservatives because they often do the same thing you’re accusing the liberal of doing here. I’m sure there are a few severely biased liberal sites or magazines as well, and conservatives have their angry spots based on that as well. But the way to fix this country is not to keep spitting in each other’s faces. You’re not even disagreeing on the issues at this point, just nameless politic gods and biases built from that. Instead of immediately attacking someone who you think might be from “the other side,” why not listen to them as if they were from your side, and agree or disagree without that built in hate response surging in your fingers as you type. If I’ve offended anyone I apologize, it was not my intent and you may be reading my words in that anger voice I mentioned. I’m just very sad to see every website comments section turning into this instead of discussing the content that was posted.

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