Friday, March 23, 2012
Rain on the horizon...
In the process of “tying up loose ends”, I had made a phone call to the IRS yesterday. I was hooked up with IRS Agent Scott (I always wonder if they use their real names). I simply wanted to know what, if any, IRS returns Riley had not filed and over the past few years. This guy was quite inquisitive and we got into a conversation about how things have changed over the years. I had mentioned to him that I had taken care of my Mom, brother, and now my husband as they approached the end of their lives. He asked – no -- he STATED – that I’m very “old school” and that’s not the way I should have done things. Then he proceeded to tell me that there were PROGRAMS set up for just those types of situations – taking care of our elderly or infirmed when there was no insurance or not enough insurance.
So, maybe it’s not such a good thing that I’ve found my voice and confidence again. Sometimes that can get me into hot water.
“Just where the hell are these programs? You tell me where to find them because I have a lot of people who would really want to know.” He replied by telling me that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are designed to help those who cannot help themselves.
Of course, now he had just put another log on my already irritated fire. “Do you know how long it takes to get any response from any of those agencies? Have you ever tried to use them to get immediate emergency assistance?” His reply – everyone must prepare themselves for the possibility of a crisis. That’s why we are supposed to save money. He continued to say that we should never try to take care of our loved ones by ourselves. We should put them into places where that is done for us and the government has programs to help people, like me, to not have to “take care” of anyone but one’s self. And once, again, he says, our society is now designed so that none of us ever have to take care of a loved one out of our own pocket. We should save for our own rainy day and use that money only for our own personal needs.
Who is this guy?? Is he really making enough money at his white collar desk job at the IRS that he can afford to SAVE money for a rainy day?? Does he really think he can get enough into that Rainy Day Account to cover the cost of everything NOT covered even when we have health insurance? And does he not realize that many people, after losing their jobs in these economic times – do NOT EVEN HAVE insurance? Let’s see him pay for one overnight hospital stay for himself out of his rainy day fund. Oh but wait, according him, he doesn’t have to pay it if he doesn’t have the money because the government will pay it for him. What a crock!!!
I thought I should try to end the conversation – after all – I had gotten the info I needed. I meekly (and that’s hard for me) said something about – yeah – well – good luck with that. I tried to hang up. But… NO… he had more to say. I must admit. I stopped listening. Oh My Goodness, I said, something is going on that I MUST attend to… THANK YOU for your help… Good Bye.
It’s a sorry state of affairs that a person who gets paid via taxpayer money has such an attitude. I don’t understand it. Maybe I just didn’t get what he was saying. I’ve been known to misunderstand a lot of things. I must admit he was polite and provided me the desired information in a timely manner. It was only when I told him that I was trying to tie up Riley’s loose ends because I was his caretaker as well as his spouse – that he started to inform me how financially irresponsible I was for spending any money on his care.
I am among the minority. Riley is very well insured as far as health insurance. Do I need more money – yes – because there are things I feel that would make life easier if I had a few extra bucks. I’ve already covered that over the past few days. But, my thoughts are not about me or Riley at this moment. My thoughts are about the people who can’t get certain medical tests or into a rehab center. I’m thinking about the people who no longer have health insurance for one reason or another. I doubt that any of them have a Rainy Day Account that’s going to have enough money in it to cover their singular heinies.
I’m also thinking about all the caretakers of all sorts of people besides the end-stage alcoholic – what about parents, children, brothers or sisters? As they lie dying in our arms, do we say I won’t take a penny from my own rainy day account to help you get that prescription or blood test?
And where are these programs that this guy is talking about? On one hand he is saying our government will take care of us and on the other he’s saying we are each on our own and should only be self-serving. I’m confused. I don’t see any government programs getting uninsured alcoholics into rehab centers. I don’t see any Calvary rushing in to save any of us.
I guess I’m just a stupid old woman, but I’m not buying an ounce of what this guy is spouting. Our conversation was recorded “for training purposes”. I wonder what the listeners will think of his theories. I wonder if they will try to find any of those programs and refer me to them. I doubt it. And I could go off on another tangent about recorded conversations, but I won’t.
However, IRS Agent Scott, gave me the info I needed and I won’t be making any calls back there for a while. I got what I needed – and I’ll just leave the rest!
at 10:49 AM