In March, I mentioned “Summing Up” my hospice concerns. As time went by, there was more to sum up.
The importance I attach to these epistles bears repeating, not to wear you down, but perchance to listen, to accept the premise that something could have been done to right a terrible wrong.
Just because we can’t make a difference today--after a year of my begging--is no reason to give up. We can still make a noise about our loss which should not be borne in silence or suffered in vain. We can resolve that our loss will not happen again, despite who’s managing hospice. Our loss is one too many.
Besides, Billy the Bard got it wrong: “All’s well that ends well,” worked well 400 years ago, but not today.
Our hospice didn’t end well.
While I was preparing these comments, another government-condoned fiscal horror popped up. IRS employees used government credit cards for porn, liquor, $100 meals, car rentals and hotels without a twinge of conscience or any fear of being caught. Their bosses were doing it, too.
The IRS can’t even monitor its own travel expenses. Vouchers were submitted by agents (and approved) who never took a trip. But because the law did not specifically prohibit the submission of a bogus travel chit, no law was technically broken.
Rather, in my opinion, it was shattered—beyond recognition—along with the citizens’ faith in their government.
|Copr. Planned Parenthood Swamplot.com|
In August, 2013 (months after hospice closed), Planned Parenthood submitted bogus claims to get reimbursed for performing abortions that the government prohibited. That organization received over a half billion dollars in grants. (That's over four times what the government was seeking from hospice.)
Unlike hospice, Planned Parenthood ends lives before they begin. Hospice cares for folks at the other end of their life allotment.
A double standard or a painful irony?
Let’s assume that everything and everyone associated with hospice was corrupt, felonious, evil and greedy, with no redeeming value.
That assumption raises the likelihood that some effort should have been expended to clean house before tearing it down.
|Copr. Car Exelens.com|
When new automobiles are recalled for mechanical or safety reasons, the factory isn’t closed and no one is fired. Problems are identified; remedies proposed. The cars aren't trashed, they're fixed. Closing hospice on the assumption that it wasn’t worth fixing, belies our tradition of solving problems rather than accepting defeat.
|Copr. Financial Inspiration.com|
|Copr. Creation Revolution.com|
Edison spent years looking for the perfect filament; Beethoven scratched through dozens of notes looking for the perfect one.
Even in its demise, we should learn something to make the next hospice better and longer lived.
On December 3rd, I met two representatives of Scripps and was politely informed that Scripps would not examine the books for the reasons hospice closed.
I mentioned my suspicion that a timely audit might have precluded the closing. Again, I was politely informed that Scripps would conduct a daily audit and never run afoul of the Feds! That sounded like over-kill, but what do I know? Unless you're Scrooge, that attitude, however, was striking.
Did NASA scrap the space program after the first tragedy…or the second…or the third? Even with its spectacular failures, money still poured in…with nary an audit. (The 2013 NASA budget alone was $17 billion, more than what hospice owes.)
In contrast, the only solution Medicare offered hospice was to dissolve it. One mistake; one solution.
|Copr. FrenchGourmet San Diegolcom|
Last year, a exquisite French restaurant in Pacific Beach was cited for hiring 17 illegal aliens who were not French chefs. The only charge was against the hiring protocol of management; not against the food, the service or the ambience. A fine was levied and the restaurant re-opened. Check, please.
Speaking of Pacific Beach, have you ever heard of a bar losing its license for over-serving a patron, or for a murdered or raped patron? Or that the number of drunk-driving citations is linked to the number of licenses?
Which is causing greater harm? One naughty restaurant or numerous bars scoffing at ABC rules. Parenthetically, there wouldn’t be any bars in Pacific Beach if the ABC laws were enforced. Would the council respond if that occurred? Just think of the lost revenue. Which is exactly what the council is thinking of.
But when hospice was cited, it was closed forthwith with no chance of reopening. Its books and doors closed so quickly, no one noticed—including this council.
I don’t understand how a French restaurant staffed with illegal aliens or a bar that over-serves drunken patrons can stay open and hospice can’t. There’s a triple standard here: one for gourmet diners, one for drunks and one for people about to die.
Granted, there’s a great difference between fudging federal funds and hiring undocumented cooks. Both ran afoul of federal laws, but faced different federal interpretations.
The Rule of Law can be elastic or unyielding, depending on who’s holding it or to whom it’s being applied.