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Posts by usnavy_cop_retired

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  • Ranchers, farmers fear eco-terrorists after EPA releases private info

    01/17/2014 7:42:44 PM PST · 20 of 24
    usnavy_cop_retired to yefragetuwrabrumuy

    The farmers should all file individual suits under the privacy Act. Here is the pertinent section;

    The Act specifically provides civil remedies, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(g), including damages, and criminal penalties, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(i), for violations of the Act.

    The civil action provisions are premised on agency violations of the Act or agency regulations promulgated thereunder.

    An individual claiming such a violation by the agency may bring the civil action in a federal district court. If the individual substantially prevails, the court may assess reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs against the agency. In addition, the court may direct the agency to grant the plaintiff access to his/her records, and when appropriate direct the agency to amend or correct its records subject to the Act.

    Actual damages may be awarded to the plaintiff for intentional or willful refusal by the agency to comply with the Act.

    In the case of “criminal violations” of the Act (Section 3 of the Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(i) limits these so-called penalties to misdemeanors), an officer or employee of an agency may be fined up to $5,000 for:

    Knowingly and willfully disclosing individually identifiable information which is prohibited from such disclosure by the Act or by agency regulations; or

    Willfully maintaining a system of records without having published a notice in the Federal Register of the existence of that system of records.

    In addition, an individual may be fined up to $5,000 for knowingly and willfully requesting or gaining access to a record about an individual under false pretenses.

    While the Act does not establish a time limit for prosecutions for violation of the criminal penalties provision of the Act, it does limit the bringing of civil action to two years from the date on which the cause of action arose. See 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(g)(5). However, the time limit for filing a civil action may be tolled for material and willful misrepresentation by the agency of any information which is required to be disclosed, if the misrepresentation is material to the liability of the agency.

  • Looking for Advice on the Phillipines

    12/27/2013 1:59:45 PM PST · 28 of 77
    usnavy_cop_retired to F15Eagle

    I have lived in the Philippines since 2001 and have been in and out of the Philippines since 1971 with the US Navy. The first question is; are you single? If so, you will be a target of girls attempting to separate you from your money.

    As a foreigner you can not own property, but you can own a condo unit because you don’t own the land.

    You will only be able to get a visitors visa good for 180 days, (you’ll need to check that law), and renewable for a limited number of times before you will need to leave the country for 24 hours.

    There are some other types of visas that will allow you to be a permanent residence, (like the US green card), but you’ll need to research them.

    I recommend that if you wish to live here, first come and visit for 6 months. Do not transfer your money to a Philippine bank. Use your bank’s ATM to access funds and only withdraw a specific amount a month, (stay on a tight budget). Do not buy any major items, (condo, cars, appliances etc.), because you will have a hard time selling them for the resale value, (especially houses and cars).

    Stay away from the girlie clubs and do not hook up with a girl you met on the internet. These will quickly separate you from your money.

    Send me a private message if you want more info.

  • An open letter to tricare

    11/17/2013 7:50:53 PM PST · 8 of 14
    usnavy_cop_retired to Marcella

    Then I guess you would say that living in Oklahoma is not smart either. Or maybe California because of earthquakes.

    Typhoons are part of life in the Philippines, just as tornado and earthquakes are a fact of life in tornado alley and the west coast.

    Also, many retirees can’t return to the US because they live on a small pension or have Filipina wifes and extended family in the Philippines. It is very difficult to get a visa for a Filipina from the US Embassy and immigration laws requires the sponsor to have an income high enough to guarantee that the spouse will not end up on public assistance.

  • An open letter to tricare

    11/17/2013 7:44:46 PM PST · 7 of 14
    usnavy_cop_retired to CodeToad

    Tricare is run by the DOD and has no interface with local government laws overseas. Beneficiaries use the medical services from local providers and file a claim for reimbursement of the cost, minus their deductible and co-pay. Tricare then pays if the services provided are Tricare authorized/covered services. According to the Tricare manuals, Tricare is supposed to take into consideration local medical delivery customs that are different then US medical delivery.

  • An open letter to tricare

    11/17/2013 6:48:47 PM PST · 1 of 14
    usnavy_cop_retired
  • Tricare leaves thousands of beneficiaries without medical providers

    11/01/2013 9:01:16 PM PDT · 1 of 3
    usnavy_cop_retired
  • Remove Sign or Leave, GOP Chair Told (Impeach Obama sign in PA)

    08/18/2013 10:12:30 PM PDT · 52 of 52
    usnavy_cop_retired to MinuteGal

    I think you need to re-read the article. The article states; “ “We did that mural on the panels where our windows were,” Kovac said.

    Bricks and a tire were hurled through the storefront window a few weeks before the 2008 general election. “

    So for almost five years this storefront had plywood where a window used to be, (before it was vandalized). I didn’t see anywhere in the article about the landlord complaining about the plywood for the last five years.

    From my experience, a normal commercial lease allows for signage in your store windows. Political signage would, I believe, include viewpoint and advocacy. The sign does not appear to violate any laws or statutes, but most likely offends the landlord who disagrees with the message.

    The tenant should file a police report and request the landlord be charged with vandalism, (at the least), and at the same time sue in civil court.

  • Man Has Home Ransacked by Police for Paying Cash

    07/20/2013 8:16:07 PM PDT · 47 of 55
    usnavy_cop_retired to metmom

    The worst part of it is that for years this was an unwritten, unpublished rule that Tricare denied existed. When retirees started getting letters demanding proof of source of funds and did not have any because they had used the money from their home safe, their claims for thousands of dollars of rightful reimbursement were denied, and appealing the denial was fruitless. Tricare would just say “we must have this information or we will not pay”. Of course if you used the funds from your safe, you have no paper trail to show that you withdrew the amount needed for the hospital bill prior to or during the inpatient stay, therefor Tricare won’t pay what they owe.

    After years of fighting this rule and educating retirees about it, and how to get around it, Tricare made the rule public and expanded it to all retirees overseas, (but the limit for them is $1,000)

  • Man Has Home Ransacked by Police for Paying Cash

    07/20/2013 7:31:37 PM PDT · 35 of 55
    usnavy_cop_retired to metmom

    Actually it happens everyday in a little bit of a different way. US Military retirees living in the Philippines must prove the source of funds used to pay for their medical bills. Tricare demands that for all medical bills of $500.00 or more the retiree must, (in addition to the Official Receipt showing the bill was paid in full), provide proof of the source of the funds used to pay the medical bill. This means that the retiree must withdraw the funds from the bank so that there is a paper trail for the source of funds.

    Many retirees maintain a home safe with a few thousand dollars for emergency needs since you can’t get admitted to a hospital without making a large deposit and must pay the hospital bill in full before they will allow you to be discharged, (and they can physically restrain you from leaving the hospital until the bill is paid).

    Checks and credit cards are not universally accepted or used in the Philippines since this is a cash and carry society. Thus, the retiree has to go to the bank and withdraw the funds prior to, or during the hospital stay in order to be able to prove the source of funds. Failure to do so will result in denial of Tricare reimbursement for the medical care, (less the retiree’s 25% co-pay and deductible).

  • "Anger" flows at acquittal of George Zimmerman in death of Trayvon Martin(Libs to Zimmerman ..)

    07/15/2013 4:52:42 AM PDT · 40 of 66
    usnavy_cop_retired to LS

    Actually, if Holder decides to file a criminal civil rights case he will have Omara in Federal Court filing a motion to foreclose the charges based on the DOJ having sent their folks to Stanford to assist and help plan demonstrations to force Florida to file charges against Zimmerman. The DOJ can not be considered to have been seeking the facts when they were involved in getting the charges filed through attempts to stir up the Trayvon supporters in order to force a criminal case.

    The obvious bias is there and the DOJ can’t get past it because of their actions in this case prior to the filing of charges against Zimmerman in Florida and the fact that they had an ongoing FBI criminal Civil Rights Violation investigation in process at the time.

  • "Anger" flows at acquittal of George Zimmerman in death of Trayvon Martin(Libs to Zimmerman ..)

    07/15/2013 12:38:54 AM PDT · 17 of 66
    usnavy_cop_retired to fireman15

    This case was never intended to go to trial. Corey was sure that Zimmerman could not afford competent counsel, (that’s the reason for screwing up his legal defense fund and charging his wife with perjury).

    She expected that without the money needed for a proper defense that Zimmerman would take a plea bargain, any plea bargain, so that they did not have to go to court.

    Freepers and other like minded conservatives ponied up the money to allow him to get a good attorney, (in this case a pair of excellent attorneys). That forced them to go to trial and then causing Corey to play “hide the ball” with discovery hoping to make it impossible for Omara to put on a good defense.

    They bet wrong, but I have seen many an innocent defendant go for the plea deal because of the lack of money for a good lawyer and the risk of a wrongful conviction resulting in most of their life spent behind bars.

  • Truck Drivers Not Revved Up About New Safety Rules

    06/30/2013 8:39:14 PM PDT · 30 of 40
    usnavy_cop_retired to Greysard

    You don’t realize that the time waiting at the docks to load/unload is called work time. Some times you wait up to 4 hours to be loaded. You could be asleep in the sleeper, but that does not count and lots of companies are, (by state and local laws), requiring that you shut down your rig.

    Try waiting to load/unload in Phoenix in the summer with no AC in the cab of the rig and waiting 3-4 hours. Most of the warehouses don’t have an air conditioned waiting room for drivers.

    Some warehouses, (union especially), require the driver to either pay “lumpers” to unload and stack the load, or the driver must do it. Most of the companies, (England, Schneider etc.), won’t pay the lumper fee, that comes out of the driver’s pocket. All that time is work time, not driving time.

    This leaves the driver with less time on the road to get to his next stop.

  • Philippines aims to be leader in healthcare outsourcing services

    06/21/2013 7:22:56 AM PDT · 15 of 16
    usnavy_cop_retired to AlexW

    I can get any prescription medicine without a prescription, but, the “narcotics” like morphine and other pain relievers need a special license to dispense, and the prescription is an absolute requirement. A friend, (now deceased), needed a daily dose of morphine for end stage cancer and had problems at times getting it from the major pharmacy’s so he found out who the wholesale supplier was and bought directly from him, and at 1/3 the pharmacy price.

    If I need Ampicillin, I just go to the local drug store, or even the local Sari-Sari store, (see http://photobucket.com/images/sari%20sari%20store?page=1 for typical stores). I have never needed a prescription for normal prescription medicines. Blood pressure medicines, diabetes meds etc. are all available by just telling the pharmacist what you need and how many “pieces”.

  • GOP Rep. Notices IRS Agents Training with AR-15s During DHS Tour: ‘I’m Looking Into the Issue Now’

    06/12/2013 4:46:58 PM PDT · 58 of 114
    usnavy_cop_retired to no-to-illegals

    If you don’t know, Civil Service rules allows an LEO to retire after 25 years of service. That is why a lot of the Gov’t unions push to classify the agency’s with LEO designation. I worked for the Defense investigative Service in the mid eighties, (security background investigations), and there was a push to attempt to make us LEO designated. Eventually they split off a criminal side of the DIS to accommodate it.

    It’s all about higher pay scales and early retirements. It has nothing to do with threats of violence to the employees.

  • Is this the prelude to ObamaCare (TRICARE in the Philippines)

    03/05/2013 6:47:40 PM PST · 16 of 18
    usnavy_cop_retired to grumpygresh

    Tricare can’t force any providers to participate in providing medical care to any Tricare beneficiary. And this is especially true overseas. The Demonstration Project has been in place for two months now, (it had to be delayed because they couldn’t get providers to join), and it has been a very rocky start.

    What was supposed to be a program with providers of most of the required specialties represented in the program has, to date, 42 specialties that are waived, (meaning that beneficiaries must use non-Demo project providers for those specialties and pay up front, just as they did before the Demo project). In the three Demo areas, the highest number of specialties represented is 22. But there are many specialties not represented that are needed.

    Another issue that has come to light is that the Approved providers are being told that they can charge up to the Champus Maximum Allowed Amount,(CMAC), even though their normal and customary fees are at least half of the CMAC. Thus, what was a normal $12 out-patient office visit now can be charges at $26. Of that the beneficiary must pay a co-pay of 25%, ($6.50), or more than half of what would have been the normal and customary fees. (Under the old system, the beneficiary would pay the full bill, file a claim and be reimbursed 75%,($9.00), making his co-pay $3.00. Now Tricare is responsible to pay $19.50 for an office visit that used to cost them $9.00).

    Tricare’s contractor, International SOS,(ISOS), apparently has told the providers that they can charge the higher fees in order to compensate for the administrative cost of filing Tricare claims and taking the risk of no payment or underpayment of the claim. However, the charging of administrative fees is specifically prohibited by Federal Regulations. Providers are not allowed to bill Tricare for administrative fees or to hide these fees in their billing. In fact, this was one of the charges filed against Thomas Lutz, CEO of Health Visions, in the $100 million fraud case prosecuted several years ago.

    (See http://www.tricare.mil/fraud/News/Document/Thomas%20Lutz%20and%20HVC%20Indictment.pdf)

    The Federal Register Notice of Philippine Demonstration published 09/28/2011 http://db.tt/hhxm8Jk2 stated; “To be included on the approved list, a provider must agree to accept reimbursement at the lower of the usual and customary charges and the established fee schedule”. This new policy is a total reversal of the notice in the Federal register and is a violation of 32 CFR, 199.9;

    199.9 (b) (2) Improper billing practices.

    Examples include, charging CHAMPUS beneficiaries rates for services and supplies that are in excess of those charges routinely charged by the provider to the general public, commercial health insurance carriers, or other federal health benefit entitlement programs for the same or similar services.

    Since Tricare, (and ISOS), know what the normal and customary charges are for the general public and have advised, (apparently, according to statements made by providers to beneficiaries), the providers to charge a higher fee in order to recoup administrative cost and the risk of non or underpayment, Tricare and ISOS are facilitating fraud upon the US Government.

    I imagine that Tricare will claim that they have the authority to advise providers to double, (or more), their fees in order to entice them to be a participant in the Demonstration Project, but I doubt that they have that authority under Federal Statute or Regulations since that policy means an increase of cost to the US taxpayer and higher out of pocket cost to the beneficiaries.

  • Part to make AR-15s draws dozens to local gun store

    01/22/2013 6:49:49 PM PST · 19 of 29
    usnavy_cop_retired to CottShop

    The statement that all countries above the US have 100% gun ban is total BS.

    I live in the Philippines. I can’t buy a gun because I’m a foreigner, but any Filipino can buy a gun to be kept in their home. If you want to carry outside of the home, you need a permit from the Police Chief, but it can be obtained.

    Guns are plentiful in the Philippines and I will bet that most of the other countries above the US also allow private gun ownership.

  • Is this the prelude to ObamaCare (TRICARE in the Philippines)

    11/10/2012 5:28:19 AM PST · 14 of 18
    usnavy_cop_retired to ronnie raygun

    Yea. What is so frustrating is the Geniuses at Tricare come up with this idea without having ever spent any time on the ground learning how the Philippine medical system works. Then they award the contract to set up the program and write the rules to the contractor that has the contract to certify hospitals and doctors to be allowed to treat Tricare patients.

    So, on 30 October I go to a briefing on the Demonstration Project that is scheduled to start 1 January. For the Metropolitan Manila area they contracted with exactly ONE hospital which is located in the busiest, most traffic congested section of Manila and tell us that we must travel 2-3 hours to see the doctors that are located at that hospital, but that if we don’t use THEIR doctors, Tricare won’t reimburse us. The problem is, it will cost more to travel to see THEIR doctor than it would for us to pay a doctor with an office within 30 minutes of our homes.

    We took a video of the filth in the one hospital that they got to agree to be their hospital in one of the other demonstration project areas. Check out this YouTube http://youtu.be/BOQAVfgf7yQ and also check out my latest article on this at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/vetscor/2956757/posts?page=7

    When we asked about the waivers they say that we can file in order to maintain our doctor that has been treated us for serious conditions, they did not want to tell us how long the have to make the waiver decision. we finally got them to tell us they have 5 working days and if they deny the waiver we can appeal to Tricare. When we asked how long Tricare had to make the appeal decision, they said “we don’t know, we’ll have to ask Tricare and get back to you”

    Less than 60 days until the start date and they don’t even know what the rules of the program are that they are going to require we follow. Nothing of the details of how the program is supposed to work is in writing. They are just going to make it up as the go along.

    It’s scary.

  • Tricare mandates substandard hospitals for US Military Retirees in the Philippines

    11/08/2012 2:35:16 AM PST · 8 of 9
    usnavy_cop_retired to LadyDoc

    Yea. I was interviewed by Travis Tritten on that article and provided him a lot of background information for the article.

    As to your other question, I would rather not name the hospital in public, but it is not one in Manila. I am very familiar with almost all of the good hospitals in Manila. St. luke’s has the only Pet Scan. Philippine Heart Center is top of the line. Asian Medical is also top quality.

    The problem is that ISOS had over a year to try to recruit hospitals and doctors for the network but couldn’t get anyone to bite. Most of the hospitals and quality doctors have been burned by Tricare in the past 10 years or more and will have nothing to do with them.

    Our information is that The Medical City, in Manila, was so badly underpaid or had so many claims denied, even though they were legitimate claims, that they lost around $1,000,000 as a result of playing ball with Tricare.

    St. Luke’s refused to file claims directly to Tricare because of the loss of substantial payments. We approached them a few years ago to attempt to get them to try again and were told that until Tricare pays all of the back claims, either denied or underpaid, they would have nothing to do with Tricare.

    So basically, ISOS had to beg the sub-standard hospitals to join the network and had to do the same with the doctors.

  • Tricare mandates substandard hospitals for US Military Retirees in the Philippines

    11/07/2012 4:53:32 PM PST · 3 of 9
    usnavy_cop_retired to usnavy_cop_retired

    The link to the video is http://youtu.be/BOQAVfgf7yQ

  • Tricare mandates substandard hospitals for US Military Retirees in the Philippines

    11/07/2012 4:49:28 PM PST · 2 of 9
    usnavy_cop_retired to usnavy_cop_retired

    The link to the video is http://youtu.be/BOQAVfgf7yQ

  • Tricare mandates substandard hospitals for US Military Retirees in the Philippines

    11/07/2012 4:47:22 PM PST · 1 of 9
    usnavy_cop_retired
  • DoD to cut Tricare Prime in 5 West areas

    10/24/2012 7:37:57 PM PDT · 11 of 23
    usnavy_cop_retired to SandyInSeattle

    I’m glad you are able to use Tricare standard, but if you lived in the Philippines you would be mandated into a modified Tricare Prime. I won’t go into the weeds on it except to say that the guarantee of Tricare being a choice of Standard, Extra or Prime is being removed from us and we are being forced to use a very limited number of providers, many of whom are substandard or are quacks that retirees refuse to voluntarily use. See my earlier post; http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-vetscor/2943197/posts

    Here is a letter I wrote to a journalist that had requested our input on the Triccare Philippine Demonstration Project;

    Mrs. ********;

    I understand that you are getting close to putting your article on the Tricare Philippine Demonstration Project to bed.

    I would like to direct your attention to a situation that will illustrate that TMA/ISOS will dramatically limit access to quality medical care in the Demonstration Project area(s).

    If you will look at the areas that TMA/ISOS have identified as phase 1 you will see that Orion, Bataan is one of those areas. I have been told by a TMA representative that from his understanding of the network being set up in Orion by ISOS that ISOS will establish the boundaries of the Orion network as the political boundaries of the Municipality of Orion. In other words, the Municipality borders as designated by the Philippine government.

    Assuming that the boundaries are set as described above, and using the criteria stated by TMA in the Federal Register posting of September 2011 and the outline of the Demonstration Project printed in the Tricare Operations Manual, ISOS will be required to contract with a hospital within the Orion Municipality borders. All Tricare beneficiaries living within those boundaries MUST use only the network contracted provider(s). This then presents a glaring issue of lack of access to quality medical care, as I will describe below.

    Orion is a municipality in the Province of Bataan. Wikipedia says;

    Orion is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Bataan, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 49,164 people in 8,735 households.

    According to the 2005 MUNICIPALITY OF ORION, BATAAN
    ECOLOGICAL PROFILE, Orion has 1 hospital;

    “Within the municipality, there is 1 hospital (Orion St. Michael
    Hospital) with a total bed capacity of 19. In addition, there
    are six (6) private medical clinics, 1 rural health unit and 13
    barangay health stations. At the outskirts of Orion, there is
    the Bataan General Hospital located in Balanga City.”

    According to the Philippine Government PhilHealth, St. Michael Hospital is a level 2 hospital. A level 2 hospital is defined as;

    “Level 2 Hospital

    - Non-departmentalized hospital

    - general medicine, pediatrics, surgery, anesthesia, obstetrics and gynecology, first level radiology, secondary clinical laboratory, pharmacy

    - nursing care for patients needing intermediate supervised care”

    Because TMA has made it clear that beneficiaries residing within the network boundaries must use the network providers, Tricare beneficiaries living in Orion will be required to use a hospital that is unable to provide the medical care that elderly U.S. military retirees and their families require and have earned by their service to the United States.

    In the information that I referenced above, it is stated that just outside of the Orion boundaries there is a Philippine Government Hospital, (Bataan General Hospital, a 350 bed hospital that caters to the extremely poor and the low income population). But since this is a Philippine Government Hospital, it has a few private pay rooms or private pay semi-private rooms. Most Patients are placed in wards, usually 20-30 beds each, (according to one nurse’s resume on the internet, the surgical ward is a 15 bed ward).

    (The retirees in Bataan tell me that this hospital is horrible. They say that you go in on a stretcher and come out in a hearse).

    The patient is required to have a “watcher”, (usually a family member that stays with the patient 24/7 and is responsible to contact the nursing station if the patient has a medical issue. The watcher also is required to go to the pharmacy to purchase the medicines prescribed. In many of the General Hospitals the watcher will have to clean the restrooms, (which will have a commode without a seat, a bucket of water to flush the toilet and for showering). Patients are frequently required to bring their own bed linens and meals.

    Obviously, the Bataan General Hospital is not a hospital that meets the Tricare Manual standards for hospitals, and since it is a government hospital, there is no way that TMA/ISOS could get this hospital under contract with the Demonstration Project.

    In the Provincial capital, (Balanga, population 91,059 as of December, 2010), which is a 15-20 minutes’ drive from Orion, there are 4 hospitals, Bataan Women’s Hospital, (a level 2, 30 bed hospital), Bataan St. Joseph’s Hospital, (a level 3, 18 bed tertiary hospital), Isaac Catalina Medical Center, (a level 3, 90 bed hospital), and Bataan Doctors Hospital and Medical Center, (a level 2, 25 bed tertiary hospital).

    The beneficiaries in Orion will travel to Balanga, Bataan to use Isaac Catalina medical Center for moderate to critical medical care, but, under the demonstration Project, will be restricted to the 19 bed, level 2 hospital in Orion. Failure to use St. Michael Hospital in Orion will result in the beneficiary being forced to pay 100% of the medical bill with no chance of being reimbursed.

    The question that needs to be asked is; why did ISOS pick Orion, instead of Balanga, to be the Demonstration Project network area? Our opinion is that ISOS was unable to get any of the hospitals in Balanga to agree to be a Demonstration Project network provider and that since TMA had identified Bataan to be one of the areas to establish the Demonstration Project in, ISOS had to find a hospital willing to contract with them. Unfortunately, Orion St. Michael Hospital was the only hospital willing to take a chance with Tricare.

    The beneficiary will be denied adequate, quality medical care based on this decision and their health will be placed in jeopardy.

  • Romney/Bain Outsource Middle Class U.S. Jobs for 99 Cents an Hour Jobs in China

    10/12/2012 11:11:30 PM PDT · 64 of 75
    usnavy_cop_retired to svcw

    Using the Philippines as an example of cost, I pay 6,000 pesos a month, to rent a 2 bdr 1 bath apartment,($145 at todays exchange rate of P41.4 to $), just got my electric bill, P2,135,($51,57), my cable tv is P445, ($10.75), and my internet is P1,000, ($24.15). My monthly food cost is P7,000, ($169, and I buy a lot of higher grade meats, cheese and snacks). My misc. expenses are about P2,000, ($48.30).

    The average Filipino, (not the poor), lives on about P15,000 per month, ($362.31), and eats a lot of rice and fish, (which is cheap), and pancit noodles with a small amount of meat in it, along with vegetables and fruits.

    Even the poor usually makes P200 per day, (P6,000 per month, or $145), but their rent is around P2,000, ($48.30).

    What I am saying is that you can not just use the wage figure without putting it into perspective. The cost of housing, food, utilities and transportation are totally different in each country.

    You would not expect someone living in Arizona to be able to survive in New York City on the wages he has in Arizona. The cost of living in Arizona is lower than New York City, thus wages in New York City are higher by necessity.

  • Is this the prelude to ObamaCare (TRICARE in the Philippines)

    10/12/2012 5:04:23 PM PDT · 11 of 18
    usnavy_cop_retired to montanajoe

    My opinion is that DOD wants to move all retirees, (and maybe Active Duty Family Members), out of Tricare and into an ObamaCare insurance program. This would mean that DOD transfers billions of dollars to ObamaCare, making the ObamaCare cost lower to the US Treasury. It’s the same as taking $716 Billion from Medicare and putting it into ObamaCare.

  • Is this the prelude to ObamaCare (TRICARE in the Philippines)

    10/11/2012 5:16:32 AM PDT · 1 of 18
    usnavy_cop_retired
    I realize that Tricare is not a big topic subject on FR, but this is a good example of how Obamacare will eventually handle the rise in cost.
  • Mr. Hope and Change benefits when people give up hope for employment...

    10/05/2012 6:54:38 AM PDT · 4 of 5
    usnavy_cop_retired to massgopguy

    If I remember correctly, the President gets these numbers the night before they are released to the public. Maybe that’s why he didn’t care about the debate, he knew what the “cooked” numbers would be.

  • Jeff Atwater Defends Mitt Romney’s Campaign Strategy Comments

    09/19/2012 3:15:27 AM PDT · 4 of 8
    usnavy_cop_retired to SoFloFreeper

    Go to CNBC, http://www.cnbc.com/id/49066507/ and take their poll on whether Mitt was correct with his 47% remark. I voted yes and it was 76% yes, 22% no and 2 % not sure. 36,210 votes as of five minutes ago.

    As Rush said, this is a winner for Mitt and he needs to push this message hard. Are you a Maker or a Taker would be a good bumper sticker. It resonates with the public.

  • Left-Wing "Psy Ops" -- Why Obama Will Have Trouble Closing the Deal

    09/09/2012 7:24:48 PM PDT · 27 of 33
    usnavy_cop_retired to philman_36

    My point was that the photo has been removed from NBC Photo Blog. I tried clicking on it several times and got the same 404 each time.

  • Left-Wing "Psy Ops" -- Why Obama Will Have Trouble Closing the Deal

    09/09/2012 7:22:55 PM PDT · 26 of 33
    usnavy_cop_retired to philman_36

    My point was that the photo has been removed from NBC Photo Blog. I tried clicking on it several times and got the same 404 each time.

  • Left-Wing "Psy Ops" -- Why Obama Will Have Trouble Closing the Deal

    09/09/2012 6:51:31 PM PDT · 22 of 33
    usnavy_cop_retired to scbison

    I just went to Drudge and clicked on the picture of Biden with the biker chick on his lap. LOL, NBC Photo Blog says 404, we can’t find the photo you requested. i went to their blog site and the picture is also not there. Guess it makes Biden look bad.

  • So what will the liberals say when\if ObamaCare is a reality?

    07/10/2012 9:00:01 PM PDT · 36 of 36
    usnavy_cop_retired to Coyote Choir

    You are correct, but the answer to that is to pass a law that no medical provider or hospital can accept cash for services. All medical care must be paid through an insurance company. If a provider accepts cash he/she/it will pay a tax (penalty). It’s now legal to do that, John Roberts said so.

  • North Carolina Democrat Will Vote To Repeal Obamacare, Will Not Endorse Obama (Rat jumping ship)

    07/03/2012 5:32:47 PM PDT · 19 of 19
    usnavy_cop_retired to Huskrrrr

    This is such an easy vote for him. He knows that it will never get a vote in the Senate because Reid will not allow a vote on it. This is pure “politics” and nothing more. He needs to look like he’s against ObamaTax before the election, then after the election, if he wins, he’ll go back to supporting ObamaTax.

  • Some GOP states want to abandon Medicaid expansion

    06/30/2012 11:22:56 PM PDT · 32 of 35
    usnavy_cop_retired to Will88

    In a lot of ways Tricare has 3 or 4 different programs, (depending on how you view them).

    Active duty personnel are not really under Tricare. They are required to use base hospitals and clinics, (or in case of U.S Navy when deployed, the ship’s medical facilities). The only time that is not true is when the active duty personnel are stationed somewhere that is not close to a military medical facility, such as recruiting duty or on leave or transiting through an area where there is no military medical facilities.

    In the above exceptions the active duty personnel are covered under Tricare Remote. This is a program where they are assigned to a private provider, or network, and coordinate their care through the contractor that Tricare contracted with for that purpose. In the US the contractors are split into several regions and they coordinate the medical care. Overseas, International SOS, (ISOS), is the contractor for all outside the continental US, (OCONUS), active duty medical care.

    Active duty family members, (ADFM), are covered under Tricare. If they are residing within the area of a medical hospital, they normally will use the hospital staff and facilities for their care, but that will be coordinated with Tricare Prime which is basically a Preferred Provider Organization, (PPO), which is set-up and run by the regional contractor. The ADFM will be assigned to a Primary Physician who will then coordinate with the contractor and other Prime specialist for referral medical care. Prime has an annual premium which must be paid and there are minimum co-pays for some services.

    All ADFM’s OCONUS must be on Tricare Prime and those in remote areas are on Tricare Prime Remote. Tricare Prime OCONUS requires the premium be paid but the co-pays are waived. Also, under the newest Tricare Prime OCONUS, all Tricare Prime is to be a cashless system. The foreign Prime providers are under contract with ISOS and the providers submit the full bill to ISOS through their sub-contractor Wisconsin Physician Services, (WPS, the claims processing contractor).

    For AFDM’s that do not want to be on Tricare Prime, (stateside), they can use any Tricare certified provider under Tricare Standard. Tricare Standard requires a $150, (individual), or $300, (family), deductible annually and then they are required to pay 20% of the Tricare allowable amount, (called a Champus maximum allowable charges, CMAC). Many ADFM’s chose this option because they can use doctors that they like rather than the Prime assigned doctor.

    Retirees in the US near a military hospital can use Tricare Prime if there are openings in the available slots, (I.E. if there are not enough ADFM’s signing up for the Prime).

    Otherwise, retirees in the US are on Tricare Standard and pay the same deductibles as the ADFM’s but pay 25% of the CMAC for their medical care.

    Finally, we get to the retirees OCONUS. No retirees OCONUS are allowed to be in Tricare Prime OCONUS. They must be on Tricare Standard. Most OCONUS areas, (Europe mostly), the providers will participate on claims, (but that is not an absolute), and will bill Tricare directly. The problem arises there when WPS pays less than billed due to WPS’s determination of non-medically necessary care or, because of the differences in medical terminology OCONUS and the US, WPS determines that the procedure is not the procedure billed. Then, after losing certain amounts of payments, the providers refuse to participate and require payment up front.

    In the US if a provider accepts a Tricare patient they can not bill the patient for the difference of what they normally charge and what Tricare’s CMAC will pay, (balance billing). OCONUS, that law does not apply except for the contract that ISOS has with Prime providers. Thus OCONUS the patient may be required to pay the bill in full and files a claim with WPS for reimbursement. If the bill is from a country other than the Philippines and Panama, WPS pays the billed ammount, (except as I indicated above). But for the Philippines and Panama, Tricare has developed a CMAC for us. The Philippine CMAC is .52% of the average US CMAC. Panama’s is .60% of the average US CMAC.

    Unfortunately, since they were established in 2008, there has been no increases in the CMAC other than the Medicare adjustment for US inflation, (annually, 1-3%), but the inflation in the Philippines has been 8-15%, (or more), for medical care annually. Along with that, there has been no adjustment for the fluctuation in the money exchange rate. When the exchange rate was 52 Pesos to a $ when the study was done for this CMAC, (2005), and is now 42 Pesos to a $, there is a loss of purchasing power, but no adjustment in the CMAC to reflect the true inflation and exchange rate.

    The bottom line is, what was somewhat close to the actual cost of medical care in the Philippines, (based on the CMAC), now leaves the retirees paying more than the 25% co-pay mandated by law.

    When the CMAC was announce, but before it went into effect, we were able to convince Tricare that ancillary cost, (x-rays, laboratory test, etc.), were higher here than in the US because most of the equipment comes from the US and/or Europe and the maintenance, training and repair parts also come from the US and/or Europe. We forced Tricare to do an independent study of the ancillary issue and got them to agree that those should be paid at the full Tricare Puerto Rico CMAC.

    We also won on the issue of prescription medicines because most are also from the US or Europe, so they are paid mostly at billed charges.

    I know I was long on this explanation, and may have a few minor points wrong, but I hope it gives a better idea of what Tricare is.

    We live under numerous other rules that US retirees do not live under, but I will leave those issue for another day unless someone request a rundown on them.

  • Some GOP states want to abandon Medicaid expansion

    06/30/2012 8:06:25 PM PDT · 26 of 35
    usnavy_cop_retired to Will88

    I can tell you that under Tricare in the US, at least, doctors and hospitals do refuse to “participate” and will not accept the low reimbursements. Those that do accept Tricare on a case by case basis are cautious about what cases they accept. A friend of mine from the Philippines is currently in Arizona getting chemo for his colon cancer, and will later have surgery. He spent a lot of time trying to find a doctor that would accept Tricare. The Mayo institute will not accept Tricare.

    Here is an example of the Tricare reimbursement/payment for him in Arizona, (each area of the US has different payment rates based on prevailing rates and are tied to the Medicare rates);

    Example——I have a PET/CT scan tomorrow and the cost is
    $4,230————TRICARE will be paying $1,034——and the provider will just accept that.

    I had a mobile chemo pump installed in a main artery, it was going to cost about $3k in the PI————here the bill was over $5k-——but tricare paid $1,700—————again without any moaning from the provider.

    The last example is pertinent for us in the Philippines. Tricare will reimburse us the $1,700 but since this is a cash and carry society, (and almost no providers will “participate” on a Tricare claim, and can’t be forced to), we must absorb the extra $1,300 that Tricare won’t pay, but we must pay to the provider before we can have the medical care.

    We have been fighting this for a long, long time. And I know, many on FR will say that we should just go back to the US. The problem with that is the US Embassy/State Department will not allow most of our wives and children to immigrate to the US because are income is too low, (most of us live on our military pension and have no other income).

    Add to that that the OBAMA admin wants us to pay higher deductibles and co-pays and is threatening to veto the DOD budget bill because Congress did not approve those fee increases in the bill.

  • Chief Justice Roberts Is A Genius

    06/28/2012 8:29:01 PM PDT · 119 of 122
    usnavy_cop_retired to Kenny

    Unfortunately I can’t be of much help since I’m in the Philippines, but I can encourage my family in the states to get moving and involved. We must defeat Obama and every democrat up for re-election/election.

  • Chief Justice Roberts Is A Genius

    06/28/2012 7:06:48 PM PDT · 112 of 122
    usnavy_cop_retired to Kenny

    Without having completely read the opinion, I agree that now all who voted for ObamaCare will have to defend their vote for a TAX! This is a very potent political add and debate tool for the conservatives. Look at the San Diego newspaper poll on this, last time I looked it was 63% against the USSC opinion on ObamaCare, (should now be called ObamaTax). So if the Tea Party and conservatives hammer the Dems with this TAX, they will attract a lot more Independents. My thoughts.

  • Why the Arizona Immigration Law is Correct

    06/26/2012 10:16:10 PM PDT · 18 of 28
    usnavy_cop_retired to Intolerant in NJ

    I would love to see Sheriff Joe publish weekly a list of all illegals they identify

  • Quayle: Obama ‘behaving as an emperor,’ Napolitano as his ‘court jester’

    06/26/2012 4:16:59 AM PDT · 15 of 21
    usnavy_cop_retired to leapfrog0202

    You may be correct, but if the Arizona AG ask the Fed District Court for an expedited hearing and a summary judgment, the initial ruling would come before the election and look bad for Obama and Homeland.

  • Stories of Obama buyer's remorse?

    06/26/2012 2:31:36 AM PDT · 35 of 59
    usnavy_cop_retired to Windflier

    We have a retired U.S. Army Colonel here in the Philippines that is from Mass. He was all gung ho for Obama in 2008. Now he says that he can’t understand why he voted for him. His Facebook is now full of anti-Obama articles from the internet. He has gotten into some pretty heated arguments with another, very liberal, retiree over Obama. LOL

  • Quayle: Obama ‘behaving as an emperor,’ Napolitano as his ‘court jester’

    06/26/2012 2:08:03 AM PDT · 4 of 21
    usnavy_cop_retired to 2ndDivisionVet

    I don’t know if this would fly, but it appears to me that Arizona has a case against Homeland Security based on a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.

    My thinking is that the withdrawal of the 287.5(e)(3) certification is arbitrary and capricious and is not based on any allegations of the LEO’s in Arizona failing to comply with the law, rules and regulations under 287, and, thus the rescinding of the authority to perform the functions authorized under 287 is an act of retaliation not an act based on objective fact finding.

    Once the authorization to act under 287 is given, rescinding that authority , I believe, needs to be based on the individual LEO’s performing functions outside of the law. Since the Court has stated that the “your papers please” is constitutional, using the fact that the state now has the Court’s permission to ask for papers is not a reason for rescinding the 287.

  • Philippines to buy TA-50 light attack aircraft from Korea: report

    06/22/2012 5:57:05 PM PDT · 5 of 5
    usnavy_cop_retired to ASA Vet

    Thanks for the link. I had not heard this but it is badly needed. The Philippine AF has zip for attack aircraft. With China flexing it’s muscles in the South China Seas, the Philippines needs to have this capability.

  • The Coming DNC Disaster

    06/22/2012 4:03:35 AM PDT · 6 of 46
    usnavy_cop_retired to Kaslin

    Here is the link to the article about the letters. It appears that the Toll Roads benefits corrupt Reps and Dems alike.

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/06/21/3333975/pryor-gibson-apologizes-for-changes.html

  • Grassley: WH must provide Congress with a ‘privilege log’ for Fast and Furious documents

    06/22/2012 3:40:38 AM PDT · 14 of 19
    usnavy_cop_retired to ScottinVA

    There is no question in my mind that Holder planned on trying to get Issa to agree to drop the vote for a promise to (probably) produce some documents and then have Obama claim executive Privilege leaving Holder to explain that he was going to give them up but Obama over ruled him. Raspberry! These guys are always playing the angles.

  • Meet the Radical DOJ Lawyer Suing Florida to Keep Foreigners on Voter Rolls

    06/12/2012 9:22:29 PM PDT · 15 of 16
    usnavy_cop_retired to Logical me

    The DOJ has refused to provide Florida with access to the SAVE database that contains the citizenship of suspected non citizen voters in Florida. By denying/delaying the access, (since last year), the DOJ can now say that Florida is using potentially outdated information and that it is now too late to purge the rolls because of the 90 day rule, (which Florida claims is not applicable to non-citizen purges). The delay was planned to cause this type of situation so that the purge is tied up in the courts until after the November election.

  • The US Will Re-Open Massive Philippine Bases Not Occupied Since The Cold War (Clark and Subic Bay)

    06/09/2012 2:18:26 AM PDT · 49 of 156
    usnavy_cop_retired to Brad from Tennessee

    When Subic closed in 1991, Mayor Gordon secured the base and stationed guards to keep the looters out, (Angeles City did not do that for Clark). Mayor Gordon then started plans to make Subic a FreePort and eventually got the Philippine Government to agree. Call Centers were the first to set up, but computer manufacturers were right behind them.

    The old navy facilities were remodeled and turned into things like, a yacht club and fancy restaurants. The Officers housing and enlisted housing, (Kalayan, Binictican etc), were turned into rental housing for corporate executives and lower management personnel.

    The Navy would have no need to establish a Navy Exchange because there are so many duty free stores in the Subic FreePort along with major shopping malls in Olongapo and on the old base.

    There are numerous major hotels in the FreePort now and many public beaches.

    Cubi Point, (the old Navy Air Station on the Subic Bay Naval Station complex), is now an international airport and the old Navy hospital at Cubi point is now a large civilian hospital.

    Currently U.S. navy ships make port calls at Subic, but no more than two or three a year. The Island of Palawan, where I live, has had two U.S. Navy ship visits in the last three years, the last was earlier this year. The visits are short and are in conjunction with joint Naval exercises.

    Go to http://wikitravel.org/en/Subic_Bay for more details.

  • The US Will Re-Open Massive Philippine Bases Not Occupied Since The Cold War (Clark and Subic Bay)

    06/09/2012 12:01:01 AM PDT · 34 of 156
    usnavy_cop_retired to Brad from Tennessee

    Take it from a retiree living in the Philippines, (since 2001), there will be no PX or Navy Exchange. The Clark Field is now populated with many international corporations and a new civilian hospital was just built there. There is even a major mall there.

    The same is true for Subic. There are major international corporations there, a commercial shipping port and a new hospital also. Subic is a FreePort now.

    The plan, as stated in the local newspapers, is that ships will come into port for repairs, supplies and R&R, but there will not be any ships stationed in Subic nor will there be more than a small contingent of U.S. Navy personnel in Subic.

    Clark Field is now an international airport, but U.S. military flights do stop there, mostly they are bringing in Army personnel and Marines that arrive to conduct training exercises and advisor duties with the Philippine military.

    There is a large group of Filipinos that do not want our military in the Philippines. There are women rights groups that also don’t want us in the Philippines. And there is still a question concerning the Status of Forces Agreement. Some Filipinos want U.S. service members who are accused of criminal activity to be held in Philippine jails prior to going to trial, (which can take many years before going on trial).

    As far as I know, this issue has not been worked out with the Philippine Government.

    It is said that our ship and planes will rotate in and out of the former bases but will not be permanently stationed at the bases, nor will they stay for prolonged periods of time.

  • “The liberating power of the free enterprise system”

    06/08/2012 3:46:31 AM PDT · 2 of 5
    usnavy_cop_retired to No One Special

    Great speech. You may not like Romney because he is not “conservative” enough, but he can win with that type of optimism. Let the PAC’s do the negative, (which I think is Romney’s plan), and he will do the “shining mansion on the hill” speeches. I don’t care how we beat Obama, just that we do it, and hopefully in a landslide.

  • The Tribune's View: Zimmerman, Standing his ground

    04/16/2012 4:47:59 PM PDT · 51 of 62
    usnavy_cop_retired to Meet the New Boss

    If I was Zimmerman’s attorney I think I would demand that a life size cut-out of Martin be placed in a chair at the prosecution table or standing in the court room in view of the jury. My argument to the judge for this would be because of the vast amount of publicity that showed pictures of Martin as a 12 year old kid. I would argue that this meme prejudices my client’s ability to get a fair trial and that to offset this meme and the impression that all jurors most likely have is to allow them to see Martin in the court room daily, just as they will see Zimmerman daily.

  • Obama Camp, Sensing Shift, Bets on a Long Shot in Arizona

    04/15/2012 8:53:19 PM PDT · 39 of 54
    usnavy_cop_retired to DarthVader

    More likely this is a pre-emptive move in advance to the Supreme Court hearing on 25 Apr on the Arizona Immigration laws. Obama knows he will lose all or most of that battle. They have to get the folks riled up about it.

    Then you have several voter ID laws that may very well get heard this session. Texas appears to be a good shot for a Supreme Court hearing on voter ID.

    The SC has not been good for Obama in the last three years. The Sackett EPA ruling, the ruling about the religious employee, a couple of rulings against the drilling moratorium in the gulf and others have not gone the administrations way, and they may just lose on ObamaCare.

    It’s hard on the moral to have that many cases deemed unconstitutional by the appeals courts and the SC.

  • 'Just call the police,' (SAnford) mom of shot teen tells witnesses

    04/08/2012 8:03:34 PM PDT · 32 of 34
    usnavy_cop_retired to john drake

    In the late 80’s and early 90’s I worked with a guy that owned a repossession company in southern California.

    We repossessed a lot of cars in the Watts, South Central, Boyle Heights and Whittier/La Puente areas. We are both white so just going into these neighborhoods at night was risky.

    We would scout the area for the car we were looking for. If we found it we would go find a restaurant to wait at until 3-5 AM. Then it was safe to go get the car. We got paid $150-300 per car, (depending on the finance company we were working for), and on a decent weekend we would repossess up 20 cars.

    We had a few close calls, but our SOP was that it was not worth getting hurt to repo a car, so if it got dicey, we just left. We could always get it on another day.