“Good Christian” Hospital Sues Its Own Employees When They Can’t Pay Medical Bills

Paid crap wages and, BTW, they have no choice in medical insurance. They can only sign up for the plan run by the hospital chain.


Andrea Morales for MLK50

❝ From 2014 through 2018, the hospital system, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, has filed more than 8,300 lawsuits against patients, including some of its own workers. After winning judgments, it has sought to garnish the wages of more than 160 Methodist workers and has actually done so in more than 70 instances over that time…

❝ It’s not uncommon for hospitals to sue patients over unpaid debts. In fact, as NPR reported Tuesday, recent research shows that more than a third of hospitals in Virginia do so. And earlier reporting from NPR and ProPublica found the practice in several other states.

But what is striking at Methodist, the largest hospital system in the Memphis region, is how many of the patients being sued are the hospital’s own employees. Hardly a week goes by in which Methodist workers aren’t on the court docket fighting debt lawsuits filed by their employer.

❝ On a single January day, there were 10 defendants on the docket whose place of employment was listed in court records as Methodist.

Employees in scrubs sat just feet away from the attorneys in dress suits — attorneys their employer had hired to sue them. The hospital’s role as a tax-exempt organization that both employs the defendants and is suing them went unremarked upon by judges, attorneys and the defendants themselves.

I don’t really think this is the vision of folks who started churches like this one. In truth, how does it continue to qualify as legitimate – and get juicy tax exemptions?

Black Cop doing his job, protecting KKK scum, speaks out

The officer stands calmly as a group of white supremacists act out behind him. One man’s outstretched right arm signals a Nazi salute. Another wears a red hood. A third rests a Confederate flag on his shoulder.

❝ The provocative scene that Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, captured with an iPhone, was shared with a modest public following but would attract a wide audience. “Confederate flags, Nazi salutes, and Klansmen having their rights protected by a black police officer,” reads a tweet posted on Aug. 12 by Ubadah Sabbagh, a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech. “This picture hurts.” James P. O’Neill, commissioner of the New York City Police Department, shared the image and commended law enforcement in Charlottesville “for handling today’s events with true professionalism. Much respect.” Tim Hogan, a former member of the Hillary for America communications team, tweeted it, too: “A picture worth a thousand words.” A writer, Yashar Ali, suggested the image be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. “A black police officer protecting a group of men who wish him harm,” he wrote in a tweet. “Incredible.”

He prefaced that remark with a question common during breaking news: “Who took this photo?”…

❝ The image spread further after a speeding car smashed into counterdemonstrators—sending bodies flying, killing one woman and injuring 19 others…As the retweets entered into the tens of thousands…A reverse image search on Google pointed…that the image was not from Aug. 12. Among the comments was a link…“This picture was taken at the KKK rally July 8th in Charlottesville, Virginia.”…

A school resource officer at Charlottesville High School, Darius Nash, confirmed to TIME on Aug. 14 that it was he in the photograph…

❝ “I don’t feel like I’m a hero for it,” Nash wrote…”I swore to protect my city and that’s what I was there to do. I don’t think it makes me a hero, just doing what I believe in.”…

Nice job of journalistic research. Even better job by the Black cop standing up for Constitutional principles – protecting the scum of the Earth from retribution outside the law. Doing his job.

An important victory for voting rights in Virginia — Republican gerrymandering turned back

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a challenge to a judge-drawn voting map that might help Democrats pick up a seat from Virginia in the U.S. House.

The unanimous ruling Monday said the state’s Republican congressional delegation couldn’t press an appeal seeking to reinstate an earlier map drawn by the state legislature. That map helped Republicans capture eight of Virginia’s 11 U.S. congressional districts in the 2012 and 2014 elections.

In ordering the new map, a lower court said race played too much of a role when the legislature drew the boundaries for the 3rd District, held by Democratic Representative Bobby Scott. Mapmakers consolidated black, mostly Democratic voters into Scott’s district so that it stretched from north of Richmond southeast to Norfolk, about 100 miles away. That improved Republican prospects in neighboring districts.

Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring didn’t appeal that ruling, but the state’s Republican representatives took the matter to the Supreme Court.

NSS.

The case is part of the fallout from a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling undercut the requirement that all or parts of 15 states get federal approval before changing their voting rules.

Those fifteen states have a record of bigotry, a history of preventing minority voters from having a voice. In states like Virginia, Republicans have added an additional chunk of cowardice, fear of democracy, trying to keep young people – especially college students – from voting.

Not a bad note considering it’s written by a 7-year-old who was born without hands

A seven-year-old student born without hands has won a US national handwriting contest.

Anaya Ellick from Chesapeake, Virginia, does not use prosthetics. To write, she stands to get the proper angle, holding a pencil between her arms.

Her principal, Tracy Cox from Greenbrier Christian Academy, describes her as an “inspiration”.

“She does not let anything get in the way of doing what she has set out to do,” says Ms Cox.

“She is a hard worker and has some of the best handwriting in her class.”

The girl reportedly beat 50 other competitors to get the special-needs category prize at the National Handwriting Contest.

Anaya Ellick

Here she is with her trophy

My hero of the day.

Nutball bigots force school closure over class writing a single sentence in Arabic


A meaningless image in parts of the United States

Schools in Augusta County in Virginia were closed Friday and a weekend holiday concert and athletic events were canceled amid an angry backlash about a school lesson involving the Islamic faith.

Officials said they had not received any specific threats but were alarmed by the volume and tone of the complaints, including some from outside Virginia…In response, additional police were stationed at county schools Thursday.

In a statement, school officials said: “We regret having to take this action, but we are doing so based on the recommendations of law enforcement and the Augusta County school board, out of an abundance of caution.”

Anger over the lesson has escalated since a teacher at Riverheads high school had students in her class complete an assignment one week ago. It involved practicing calligraphy and writing a statement in Arabic.

The statement translated to: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

At a forum Tuesday, one parent said the assignment promoted a false religious doctrine, while other parents expressed outrage. Some demanded that the teacher be fired…

School officials said the aim of the lesson was to illustrate the complexity of the written Arabic language, not to promote any religious system.

In a statement, district officials said they will use a different example of Arabic in future classes.

The assignment was given by Cheryl LaPorte, a longtime teacher at Augusta County Schools, in a World Geography class at the high school. In the course of learning about different regions around the world, the Staunton News Leader reports, students also study the regions’ culture, which includes its predominant religions.

I have this problem with devotees of religion as a component of patriotism. Using mythic ideology to justify bigotry and ignorance is not an excuse for shutting down education. The fools who forced this are as much of an embarrassment to Americans as individuals as it is to the whole nation.

Anesthesiologist trash-talks sedated patient — $500K worth!

colonoscopy

Sitting in his surgical gown inside a large medical suite in Reston, Va., a Vienna man prepared for his colonoscopy by pressing record on his smartphone, to capture the instructions his doctor would give him after the procedure.

But as soon as he pressed play on his way home, he was shocked out of his anesthesia-induced stupor: He found that he had recorded the entire examination and that the surgical team had mocked and insulted him as soon as he drifted off to sleep.

In addition to their vicious commentary, the doctors discussed avoiding the man after the colonoscopy, instructing an assistant to lie to him, and then placed a false diagnosis on his chart…

There was much more. So the man sued the two doctors and their practices for defamation and medical malpractice and, last week, after a three-day trial, a Fairfax County jury ordered the anesthesiologist and her practice to pay him $500,000…

The jury awarded the man $100,000 for defamation — $50,000 each for the comments about the man having syphilis and tuberculosis — and $200,000 for medical malpractice, as well as the $200,000 in punitive damages. Though the remarks by Ingham and Shah perhaps did not leave the operating room in Reston, experts in libel and slander said defamation does not have to be widely published, merely said by one party to another and understood by the second party to be fact, when it is not…

Because he was going to be fully anesthetized, the man decided to turn on his cellphone’s audio recorder before the procedure so it would capture the doctor’s post-operation instructions, the suit states. But the man’s phone, in his pants, was placed beneath him under the operating table and inadvertently recorded the audio of the entire procedure, court records show. The doctors’ attorneys argued that the recording was illegal, but the man’s attorneys noted that Virginia is a “one-party consent” state, meaning that only one person involved in a conversation need agree to the recording.

The recording captured Ingham mocking the amount of anesthetic needed to sedate the man, the lawsuit states…”…The discussion soon turned to the rash on the man’s penis, followed by…comments implying that the man had syphilis or tuberculosis. The doctors then discussed “misleading and avoiding” the man after he awoke

Ingham then mocked the man for attending Mary Washington College, once an all-women’s school, and wondered aloud whether her patient was gay, the suit states. Then the anesthesiologist said, “I’m going to mark ‘hemorrhoids’ even though we don’t see them and probably won’t,” and did write a diagnosis of hemorrhoids on the man’s chart, which the lawsuit said was a falsification of medical records.

After declaring the patient a “big wimp,” Ingham reportedly said: “People are into their medical problems. They need to have medical problems.”

Stupid 101. Testimony included expert opinion that anesthesiologists should be aware that any patient might not be in a deep sleep and might recall hearing silly, irrelevant remarks. Catching the whole procedure as an audio recording was a plus that locked everything up for the lawsuit.

If you feel like RTFA, some of the recordings are available. 🙂

Thanks, Honeyman

Oil spill and fire from derailed train in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia

About 15 train tanker cars carrying crude oil derailed Wednesday afternoon in Lynchburg, Va., plunging several of them into the James River, sparking a massive fire and spilling oil.

The derailment prompted evacuations in the downtown district near the railway for hours until the massive fire that spewed black, acrid smoke was extinguished. There were no reports of injuries or damage to nearby buildings.

Downstream more than 100 miles, a spokeswoman for the city of Richmond said utility officials stopped capturing water from the river as a precaution until the extent of environmental damage caused by the oil spill became clear. Instead, Richmond is relying on a backup canal for water…

CSX Transportation, which operated the Chicago-to-Virginia freight train, said the fire erupted from three punctured cars after the 2:30 p.m. derailment. In a statement, the company said it was sending safety and environmental experts to the scene…

Wednesday’s fire is the latest in a series involving trains carrying crude oil as the nation’s drilling boom fuels a surge in oil transportation. Fearful of seeing similar accidents in their own jurisdictions, some officials have called for tougher safety regulations for freight train operators.

A significant portion of the oil-carrying rolling stock on US railroads is about as out-of-date as the ideology of politicians who fight 24/7 against modernizing our railroad system. I’m not certain why they hate railroads so much. They certainly don’t give a damn about people killed or the pollution of environments around North America as a result of their idjit mentality.

Not that the owners of railway companies are spending much – yet – on updating the ancient tankers they’re using to haul boomtown oil from the Dakotas and elsewhere.

Republican says pregnant women are “hosts,” even if some people “refer to them as mothers”

A pregnant woman is just a “host” for a fetus, according to Virginia state Sen. Steve Martin.

The Republican legislator representing Virginia’s 11th district made the comment in response to a Valentine’s Day card from a reproductive rights group calling on him to protect reproductive health options in the state.

“I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive,” Martin wrote on Facebook. “However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.”

Martin went on to call reproductive rights advocates “sick people.”

Martin’s claim that he does not “expect to be in the room” or “do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive” is, of course, entirely disingenuous. He is a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid expansion, which would ensure affordable access to healthcare and contraception for people across Virginia.

It should probably go without saying, too, that Martin does not support abortion rights.

The creep has edited his post since everything blew up and he realized that average folks aren’t as willing to join the Republican war on Women as are his acolytes in the anti-abortion movement. Fortunately, plenty of folks on the Left have screengrabs and are using them to reference what he originally said.

Jerk accumulates $202,000 in fines for skipping tolls

Jason Bourcier, a 33-year-old financial consultant from Arlington, Va., racked up $202,000 in toll fines that he’s agreed to pay in installments until he’s 87.

“I would go through late at night, and there weren’t any attendants,” Bourcier said. “One day, I asked an attendant if the cameras were on when there were no attendants on duty. He said they weren’t. So I started going through without paying the tolls.”

Bourcier has been doing this for over three years and will pay $150 monthly installments over the next 54 years to the Virginia Department of Transportation, after his lawyers made an agreement.

Taking the word of the dude working the toll plaza. That’s the sum of research he did before breaking the law? And he’s a financial consultant? Phew!