Category Archives: GREEDY CORPORATIONS

HEALTH CARE “FACTORIES”

Other than the wealthy who can afford to see doctors who have a private practice and hospitals that have “wealthy suites” for their patients, everyone else is now on the assembly line!  We are at the mercy of the health care system that puts greed ahead of patient care!

Most health clinics are notorious for asking you to come in 10/15 minutes ahead of your scheduled appointment to “sign in”.  Then, you wait another 10/15 minutes past your appointment time to get in to the exam room.  Then, you sit in the “exam room” another 10/15 minutes until the Dr. finally appears.  After a perfunctory “hello”, the Dr.goes to her computer that has your health records and types while asking you the “perfunctory” questions. If you have any questions you have to ask them while the doctor is still typing.  Sometimes, they will actually stop typing and look at you to answer the question.  You are lucky if the entire appointment allows you 15 minutes!  Some doctors will do a quick diagnosis of your health issue and let it go at that.  Others will prescribe tests to determine the problem.  Sometimes they will tell you to go to the ER for a test the clinic cannot provide.  Sometimes they ask for many tests that are not necessary just to “cover their bases”.

Once you are in the ER, you are put on the “assembly line” gurney.  You wait for the doctor. You wait for the test/s to be given.  You are hooked up to an EKG monitor and put on IV liquids, which make you have to urinate more but there is no one to help you to get to the bathroom so by the time you get off the gurney, take a hold of the pole the IV is on and start walking, you have already wet your pants!  My time in the ER waiting for test results was six hours.  When the test results are back, the doctor (the first one) comes in, gives you the results and tells you you can go home or you need to be admitted to the hospital.  My experience was that doctor #1 said I could go home. Since the ER needed  the gurney I was on, I was transferred to a nice room in the “cardiac unit” to wait until they could check me out.

Meantime, doctor #2 arrived a couple hours later.  She told me I had to stay overnight for a more thorough test the next day!  By the time I was admitted and assigned a room, I had already been at the hospital a total of ten hours!  Anyone who has been in the hospital knows you can no longer have your own doctor follow through with you.  The hospital now calls their doctors “hospitalists” and they work directly for the hospital.  They are on a regular schedule like the rest of the hospital staff.  This means approximately every 8 hours you get a different doctor.  The doctor who had me stay overnight for the test was not there the next day.  I only saw her that one time.   There were blood pressure readings and blood tests all night long.  The next morning #3 doctor took over my care.  Within less than the 24 hour period I had been there, I had three different doctors! And, they all had a different opinion as to what the most important health issue was and how to treat it!

This morning, #3 doctor was concerned about my high heart rate.  She gave me more blood tests. xrays and put me on more IV fluids.  During all of this I asked the doctor if I could go home today.  She wanted to check my heart rate before saying yes.  A couple aides took me for a short walk and to some “stair steps”.  I was just about to climb them when “bells & whistles” started going off and two women rushed towards us and said “stop….don’t climb those stairs! Evidently my heart rate had jumped very high after that short walk.  Needless to say the doctor wanted to keep me overnight again to get my heart rate down before allowing me to go home.  She ordered the nurse to give me continuous IV fluids throughout the entire night.  The nurse made the IV line too short with no room for me to move.  I was afraid when I moved, I would pull it out.  I would get no sleep for the 2nd night!  I told this to the new nurse and she called the doctor who came to see me.  I reminded her I had no sleep the night before and had a full day of tests  The doctor agreed to stop the IV’s for the night to see if a good night’s sleep would bring my heart rate down.  She gave orders to let me sleep without the usual nightly rounds of blood pressure checks and blood tests.  The next day my heart rate was down.

Evidently, the hospital (not the doctor) had ordered physical therapy for me in the morning. Two different physical therapists and a “respiratory” therapist conducted the therapy, one right after another!  When the doctor found out what the “respiratory” therapist did, she cancelled any more therapy!  She said the type of therapy he gave me raises the heart rate!  Later, the doctor gave me a couple “walking tests”, which I passed this time.  I was finally allowed to go home!  What a happy day that was!

I understand many people are in the hospital for more serious health issues and for a longer period of time. My heart goes out to all of them.  This article is meant to point out how a “hospital factory” is run today and, mistakes that are made because of this.

Another problem with today’s health care is the lack of communication between your doctor and the health care services she orders. And, the lack of communication with your own doctor. In order to have the test that was ordered by the hospital doctor, my primary care doctor needed to call the health service that did these tests.  It took three different calls for me to actually get an appointment for the correct test the hospital doctor had directed.  Twice, this was due to a lack of communication between my doctor and the health service. The third time was due to my doctor ordering a more extensive test without telling me or discussing the test with me. I had to cancel that test and tell my doctor (her nurse, never get to actually talk with the doctor) I would not have the test because it wasn’t the one the hospital doctor had ordered and she had not even discussed this “new test” with me when I was in her office two days ago!  The doctor’s reply (through the nurse) was we would do the “original” test only and “talk about the one she had added on later” and, that she would call me with the results of the test when they get them.  I had asked the gal who did the test how long it usually takes to get the results to the doctor.  She said it would take a couple of days.  I waited a full week and no call from the doctor with the results.  I finally called the doctor’s office & asked if they had received the results yet.  No one could tell me if they had or hadn’t!  Evidently, this office does not do “follow up” on tests they require to be done! They had to call the health service and request the test results.  The health service said they had sent them.  If I had not called my doctor, I never would have been given the test results!  This was the doctor who initially sent me to the ER for a test because she was so concerned about my health issue!  This is all too typical of health care factories!

This is just one story about health care ‘factories”.  On two other occasions when I had surgery, the care was no better.  After one of the surgeries, because of the inattention, one nurse told me I had almost died!  After the second surgery, a nurse requested she spend the day taking care of only me because she knew how serious my condition was!

I know there are many, many more stories like this, or worse, out there.  Patients are receiving inhumane treatment from the health care “factories” today.  All because of greed!  The corporate policy for health clinic “factories” is “see as many patients daily as we request”.

The hospital “factory” policy is keep the patient as long as you can and give them as many tests as possible. Both the health clinics and hospitals are always understaffed because of the bottom line.  The doctors are “frazzled” because of the work load.  This can cloud their judgement as well as their diagnosis and how to treat it. The nurses are “frazzled” for the same reason.   Patients deserve better!

WHY CORPORATE LEADERS MAKE SO MUCH $$!

In one day I found out why all these corporate “leaders” make so much money.

I went to my usual grocery store, QFC (Kroger Foods now), that I have shopped at for many years.   In fact, I was sent a “pack” of FREE item coupons for being such a good customer!  The name QFC was kept when Kroeger Foods bought it out because the name was a sign of excellence.   First, the pharmacist manager (who has no control over this) told me “corporate headquarters” will no longer use the manufacturer I need (I have an allergic reaction to all other manufacturers for this prescription) because this manufacturer charges more than others! This manufacturer is in the U.S.  Evidently, the others are from who knows where! Never mind the money this company has made from me.   This manufacturer is not one most pharmacies have on their “approved manufacturers list” which is why I used QFC pharmacy!  The same thing happened with Walgrens.  They used the manufacturer for a few months to get my business, then they said “no more”! One win for corporate headquarters!

Before I left the store I bought an “oven roasted whole chicken”.  I don’t usually buy them but I decided I wanted a “real chicken” sandwich.  Plus I can usually get at least five meals out of that $10.00 chicken so, all in all, not a bad buy.  When I took it out of the bag, it looked like the “skin was sagging”.  When I cut into it, the back part of the skin was “slimy” and the back and rib bones were black!  It looked like “cooked worms” inside the bones.  I had asked the Deli person to give me the latest cooked chicken.  However, after seeing this horrible sight, I looked at the date.  It said “this was fresh as of (a date that was FIVE days earlier!).  So, what I want to know is, had this chicken been cooked “fresh” five days earlier and then just sat under these “warm heat lamps” for five days?  Needless to say, I threw the $10.00 chicken out!  $10.00 doesn’t sound like much but when you live on a limited income, it’s a lot. More money in corporate headquarters pockets!  No need to throw “out of date” food away, just sell it anyhow!  How many people actually take the time to return the bad food or even complain about it?

The previous owner (Quality Food Company) would not have allowed this to happen!  However, since Kroeger bought this store (more mergers), the products have gone downhill and prices gone up.  Kroeger has never been known for “Quality” products but at least I thought the chicken was “safe” to eat!  Just recently they have also had to recall frozen vegetables because of possible listeria contamination.  They also recalled sunflower seeds for the same reason.  They were also one of the grocery stores that had the label “ground beef” on meat that was made from the bits and pieces left over when they packaged “real” ground beef”!  It was dubbed “pink slime” by consumers!  This is just one instance they were caught trying to cheat the public.  I wonder what else they are doing!

There have been many articles about the “unsafe” food in this country and all of them are true!  “Buyer Beware”!

 

ALEC – THE KOCH BROTHERS WEAPON!!

Articles have been written about the Koch brothers “American Legislative Exchange Council but I wonder how many Americans are aware of how dangerous this corporate organization is.  The purpose of this organization is to impose the corporate agenda in every elected position in the entire country.  Corporations pay the Koch brothers’ ALEC to allow their lawyers to write corporate legislation for Republicans to introduce and then pass into law.

If you think the Koch brothers have done all the damage they can do.  Think again!  They are just getting started!  Their goal is to take over all of America, not just Congress and the White House.

An offshoot of ALEC IS ACCE (The American City County Exchange).  This is an ALEC-operated project beginning in 2015.  ALEC is the “Daddy”, working at the national and state level.  ACCE is the “Son”, working on city and county governments.  Sounds preposterous?  Anyone who does not take these organizations seriously and does nothing about them will feel the results of their actions!  They have already taken over governorships, state legislatures and other political positions in a state (think Attorney General, Secretary of State (elections), etc.), city councils, county councils, etc.

Not enough to get you riled up?  How about their plans to abolish public pensions, unions, minimum wage and so much more.  For more information search ALEC at The Guardian.

These Republican organizations will continue their agenda until they are stopped!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO MORE LABELING OF FOOD

On June 10, 2015 a bill was passed by the Republican house.  This bill repeals the requirement for meat products to be labeled with their “country of origin”.  In other words, we in the U.S. would have no way of knowing which country our meat/poultry is coming from!  We would not know the conditions these animals  were raised in, the process of preparing for market or the condition of the plant it was packaged in.  There would be no regulations on safety.  We already have many other products made in foreign countries shipped to the U.S. without any labeling or safety regulations, including many foods.

This bill (H.R. 2393) was introduced by Rep. Michael Conaway from Texas. The full title of the bill is “To amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to repeal country of origin labeling requirements with respect to beef, port, and chicken, and for other purposes.  To read the text of the bill you can go to H.R. 2393.

It is almost impossible to keep up with all the “dirty deeds” the Republicans are doing to help the greedy corporations make even more profit!  They could care less about the safety of anything sold to the American people.  These legislators will do anything for these corporations to line their pockets with $$!! These same legislators are still trying to strike down the ACA (“Obama care”) for the insurance companies even though this would take away health insurance for 6 million people!  Their corruption is truly “mind boggling”!!

If our democracy is to survive we need to vote every “corrupt” politician out of office….ASAP!!  They will never vote “term limits” for themselves.  Why should they?  They have a good thing going and the cash flow is increasing!

I recommend everyone who wants to know where their meat comes from call their Senators and let them know this is unacceptable.  The senate hasn’t voted on this yet.

REPUBLICAN’S “SCORCHED EARTH” POLICY – WELCOME TO 2020

I am not talking about a “Military” policy.  This is about a political, economic and environmental “scorched earth policy”.  If Republicans (controlled by Corporations) take charge of the U.S.A. in the 2016 elections this is what I envision for 2020.  No more government funding for anything except the military to wage their never ending wars for more profits!

There are no environmental regulations so the Corporations keep “warming up the planet”!  There are still the oil, coal, chemical and other air polluting factories (owned by the Koch brothers and other billionaires).  We need oxygen masks when outside.

There are no other factories in the U.S.A.  Everything is produced in foreign countries where the jobs have been shipped.  There are no regulations on these companies as far as the environment, product toxicity, or work conditions go. There is no “warning label” on anything produced.  These are the only products available in the U.S.A now.   These products are “throw away” because there are no set standards for workmanship or what the product is made of.  There is no concern for trade balance because the U.S. has nothing to trade!

There are no family farms or organic food producers.  The Mega Agricultural Corporations have total control of what and how much food is produced.  All food is produced in foreign countries to ship back to the U.S.A. There is no Food Safety and Inspection Service to check the food for bacteria, toxic ingredients, mold, age, packaging, etc.  There is no label of ingredients on any product.

There is no Social Security or Medicare.  All except the 1% senior citizens are warehoused in large complexes throughout the country (owned by Corporations).  There is no funding for the hungry, homeless, mentally ill or jobless.  There are no jobs available.  Those who have jobs serving the 1% are paid a below poverty level wage with no benefits.  Other work needed done for the 1% are done by robots.

There is no health care for 99% of Americans because no one can afford the health insurance premiums except the 1%.  The Affordable Care Act (“Obama care”) has been repealed!  The 1% have personal doctors and hospitals at their command.  There are no public health clinics, public hospitals, medic one, 911 numbers for emergencies, ambulances, etc.  There is no federal prevention or control of disease.

There is no funding for recovery from hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, erupting mountains or any other act of nature. There is no funding for roads, bridges, highways or airports. They are all decaying and unsafe to use.  The 1% have their private helicopters on their estates and jets housed in private airports for transportation.

There are no funds for education; pre-school, grade school, or high school. There are no funds to maintain the existing decaying schools. No funding for teachers. The only schools open are private schools for the children of the 1%.  All colleges are closed except the Ivy League ones for the 1% offspring.  The student loan for college does not exist!

There is no government agency checking the quality of water we are drinking.  Whatever pollutants go into the water stay there.  This includes pollutants from factories. The populace has water rations. The 1% have their unlimited safe, clean water source.  Power grids, no longer being funded or maintained, are failing.  The 1% have their own power source.

There are no U.S. Courts or federal prisons. The United States Supreme Court is now an extension of the Corporation government (“The Corporation Supreme Court”).  There are no federal arms control.  No gun control.  There is no federal law enforcement.

There are no public lands, national parks or forests, federal landmarks or federal buildings. There is no fish & wildlife service. There are no fishing regulations and the supply has been depleted.  There is no protection of wild life or reserves for them.  They are becoming extinct.

There are no government science departments because the Corporation government does not believe in science!  They have no science classes in their private schools or colleges. These schools and colleges curriculum is determined by the Corporation government.

 There is no Coast Guard to patrol U.S. waters or oceans.  No NOAA.

There are no Post Offices. Those who can’t afford a computer for communication have no means of communicating.  Only the 1% can afford new tech phones.  There are no longer any “land lines”.

There is no warning system for impending disaster. No Homeland Security.

There is no regulation of cable, radio, TV, satellite and wire.  Only the 1% can afford those now.

There is no “religious freedom”.  Anyone practicing any religion other than Christian or Jewish is a “terrorist” and will be incarcerated for life (in one of the Corporation’s prisons).

There is no Federal Reserve.  All currency and credit is controlled by Wall Street.  There are no regulations on banks.

There is no U.S. Treasury because there are no federal taxes.  Profits from The Corporations are brought back to the U.S. since they are no longer taxed.

There are no elections. Members of both houses of congress have passed laws for their terms to continue as long as they choose and they appoint their replacements.  The law applies to the president as well.  The Corporation government does not need the House and Senate building or the White House.  There is no funding to maintain them.  This is not a problem for members because they never did spend a lot of time in D.C. anyhow. They now do all business from their private estates by “group skyping”.  They are only “in session” a month out of the year to pass laws the Corporation government wants passed to keep the populace under control.

Welcome to 2020!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIG BROTHER and BEYOND!

Remember when everyone was concerned about the latest technology invading our privacy  equating the situation with Orwell’s book “1984”?  I wonder if anyone remembers what the book envisioned in the future. I wonder if Orwell is spinning in his grave, wishing he had predicted Smart Phones and Drones.

Once in a while when I go through my many computer files, I wonder who is “being fed” everything I type, scan, download, search, every comment I post on the internet, etc.  It’s a good thing I don’t spend too much time dwelling on this. Edward Snowden, the leaker of NSA classified information, was so upset he revealed National Security Secrets and became a traitor to his country.  Or…did he do it because he wanted the recognition and a book deal??

The reality is there is no line of communication that does not present the same question; Smart Phone, iPad, TV, etc., except face to face conversation.  Even then, that conversation could be recorded without your knowledge.  Even the U.S. Post Office has your name, address, phone number, etc. in their computers.  We are a nation of “sharers” even though some people on social media do not fully understand what and who they are “sharing” their lives with.  It isn’t just this country but countries around the world.  It is a world beyond Orwell and continuing at a rapid pace.

The corporations are making billions of dollars with every new technology product. The previous ones are considered “throw-away”.  After a year’s use (or sooner) they become obsolete. Replaced by a product that has more apps, more storage and sends more to the Cloud (the big file cabinet in the sky).  These new products need other new products that  “speak the same language” to be able to communicate with each other to accomplish one given task!  New computers need new printers, new phones need new ways to download pictures to print, on and on ad nauseam.

Schools even require a computer for students to do homework.  Some banks charge for printed monthly statements because they want you to do your business online (it’s cheaper for them!).

Have you ever tried to reach a corporation that sells all these products??  Some do not even have reliable service through their customer service phone number. You have to send them an e-mail through their company site! Then you get a form letter thanking you for your e-mail and if you are very lucky, you will actually get someone “out there” to help with your problem.

What does a family who cannot afford a computer do?  How do they help their child with the homework that demands one?  How does a senior citizen who cannot afford a computer get their monthly bank statements without cost?  How does anyone get a problem solved without days of back and forth e-mails with someone who may just be a fast typist, not a trained technician to help with their problem?  How?  How?  How?

Yes, we are way beyond 1984!

COMCAST

So far my blogs have been political.  I’m taking a break from the mundane political scene and writing about something else going on in our country.  Corporate greed and nonexistent customer service from them.  COMCAST is a prime example of this.

Who hasn’t placed a call to COMCAST for help with a problem?  This huge conglomerate is everywhere!  This conglomerate is probably the least concerned about customer satisfaction than any other mega business in the country.   There are others that may be close but none can top COMCAST in greed or unreliability!

For example:

1) Trying to get help from COMCAST is like calling an “out of service” phone number (which actually happened to me once for a full week!!).

2) When your call is finally answered, you get the recording that says to get help you can go online.             Never mind your problem is with the internet and you can’t get online!

3) Next, you have to wait until the advertising for COMCAST’s services are finished.

4) Next, you go through the steps and choose the number they give you for the type of help you want.

5) Next, the recordings begin to go the “round robin” route!

  1.    a) “We are experiencing a larger volume of calls than normal at this time.”

.           Really??  This recording is not just now and then.  It is all the time!

  1.   b) Next, we get the loud music being interrupted by another recording “we value your business”

Yah… Right!!

  1. c) The longer we are on hold, the better chance of being totally disconnected!

6) When you finally get a customer service person, you cannot understand them!  I feel badly having to ask them to keep repeating everything.  It’s not their fault COMCAST won’t hire American workers that we can understand (does that sound familiar?).

7) We are not only unable to understand what the customer service person is saying.  90% of the time this person is unable to fix the problem and transfers you to “someone who can help”.  Then you are disconnected!   Also, when I have called more than once the previous customer service (one who couldn’t fix it) made notes the call was for a totally different problem than one I had.

8) Whenever anyone wants to transfer you to another department, 96% of the time the line disconnects.  It also disconnects when they put you on hold when they are trying to fix the problem.

9) At times the speed of the internet will be lower than half the speed you are paying for.  IF you call about this, they will admit the speed is “incorrect” and will put it back to the level you paid for.  YOU HAVE TO CALL IF YOU WANT IT BACK TO HIGH SPEED!!

10) I have had the DVR replaced every three or four months for the past three/four years because they always go “haywire”! The last time I had it replaced the “tech” told me they only replace faulty

DVR’s with used ones.  In order to get a new DVR you have to pay for a tech to come to your home to replace it!!  In other words, if your DVR isn’t working, in order to get one that does, you have to pay for a service call.  In talking with every tech who has replaced my DVR I have found ways COMCAST tries to “ding” you for more money!

There are so many more instances of bad customer service it would take too many pages to list them all.   The city I live in signed a ten year contract with COMCAST (I still wonder why??).  I have been dealing with these same problems for years.  A couple years ago I finally decided if COMCAST Customer Service can’t help me after four calls in a 24 hour period, I will not call them again (to get another uneducated “tech” or be disconnected!).  I called the Department of Cable Communications for the city to report the problem and on several occasions I did get an immediate response from COMCAST.  However, it was usually just a credit on my bill and not enough to make any real difference.

After giving up on any meaningful help from the city, I asked for the name and phone number of my   states COMCAST Corporate Headquarters.  Thankfully, she gave it to me. I had tried all other avenues to get this number, including going to the COMCAST website which was a total waste of time!

When I called Corporate Headquarters I had to press a “secret’ extension number that was given me to get the VP of Customer Relations. In the past years I have talked with three different VP’s.  Evidently this is such a high stress job, they don’t last long or they treat the customer so badly they get a promotion!!  After several talks with the first VP, the next time I called her “secret extension” number had been changed!  The excuse was she was out of the office so often they had to delegate these calls to someone else!  The second VP did not last there very long.  The last VP was probably the best one I talked with and did get some concrete results from.  Over the past year I have come to realize even his “hands are tied” by COMCAST as to what he is authorized to do.  My question is “why should I have to call COMCAST Corporate Headquarters to get help?”

It wasn’t bad enough COMCAST was allowed to merge with NBC Universal four years ago.  Now they are trying to “merge” with Time Warner Cable.  COMCAST is telling us this merger “would bring substantial benefits to consumers”.  The opposite has been true since the merger with NBC Universal.  They continue to raise their prices on cable and internet services.  They continue to charge more for outdated and degraded equipment (DVRs).  They expect customers to return this equipment for exchange at a COMCAST Service Center.  They don’t take responsibility for getting it to the customer!!

If the COMCAST/Time Warner Cable are approved, COMCAST would have more control and power over millions more cable and broadband customers.  Not only control over the use of these services but the content as well.  I would hope the two federal agencies responsible for these mergers (FCC and Justice Department) seriously consider the ramifications of these mergers before signing off on another one.  As the saying goes “Fool me once, shame on you….Fool me twice, shame on me”!!!

NEWS ALERT:  Just heard the news COMCAST has dropped its bid of $45 Billion for Time Warner Cable.  Guess the FCC and Justice Department weren’t fooled twice!!  However, this does not change the customer service one gets from COMCAST!!