INdiana Systemic Thinking

January 25, 2008

Govt. Screw-Ups, Unfair and Inconvenient

Aside from huge tax bills, another thing that gets people madder than heck is when government employees screw-up.  Now everyone is human and we all screw-up from time to time, but when a screw-up ruins someones life or bring to light a hugely unfair system is when people start becoming less and less forgiving.

Look at these two examples, the first if is from the Northwest Indiana Times.  The second, from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

A rural Crown Point man said he learned the hard way Wednesday taxpayers can only depend on themselves to have and hold their property tax deductions.

Norman R. Walters said the county failed to give him credit for his mortgage exemption for the last 13 years, but they still refuse to give him a complete refund.

Dan Repay, tax director for the county auditor’s office, confirmed no taxpayer can be compensated for 13 years of overtaxing.

“The law only lets us go back to correct three years,” Repay said. “I apologize to the gentleman, but I can’t go beyond the law.”

Repay said his office struggles to manage a variety of exemptions on 240,000 separate parcels of land. He said it is ultimately the taxpayers’ responsibility to ensure their exemptions are in order.

The retired steelworker said he has more than an average attachment to his house, sitting on more than an acre in Holiday Creek subdivision southeast of the city limits. He said he has been living there since 1974.

“I built my own home,” Walters said. “I’ve never missed a tax payment, and this last bill went up 26 percent.”

Walters, 66, living on a fixed income, said he began investigating whether to pay off the remainder of his mortgage or keep it and the mortgage exemption — $3,000 subtracted from the property’s assessed value — as a hedge against the rising property taxes.

His investigation led to the discovery he didn’t have a mortgage exemption.

“They told me I hadn’t had one since 1979,” Walters said.

Walters said he couldn’t believe what he was told, so he rummaged through his records and found a receipt, dated 1994, that he had filed for an exemption when he refinanced his home under the administration of former county Auditor Anna Anton.

Walters said he took his 1994 document back to the county complex and was told he is entitled to a refund — but only for the last three tax years, with interest, or about $194.

“It should be four times that amount, and they said I have to pay taxes on my refund,” Walters said. “Look, its not my fault.”

And now the second one:

A Muncie woman says she is trying to make ends meet after the government mixed up her Social Security benefits following her supposed death.

Toni Anderson, 60, said her problems began after her husband, John, died Nov. 8. She went to a local Social Security office to enroll for widow’s benefits and was told that records indicated she, not her husband, had died.

Anderson, who is disabled, already received supplementary security income. The Social Security office secured those benefits for December, she said, but she has not received any more – or widow’s benefits – since that $623 check, which was made out to her husband.

The government also sent a letter to her deceased husband, dated Nov. 16. It begins, “Dear Mr. Anderson: Our condolences on the loss of Mrs. Anderson …”

A Chicago-based regional communications director for the Social Security Administration declined to comment when contacted for a story by The Star Press.

Anderson said the regional official and a manager at the local Social Security office both contacted her this week and said they were working to correct the problem.

“In their eyes, I don’t know whether I’m dead or not still,” Anderson said. “Last I heard, I’m still dead.”

Any wonder why taxpayers are up in arms?


January 6, 2008

Medicaid: Indiana Paying Docs More

From the ‘About D*mn Time’ file comes reports from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, News Sentinel, and WTHR concerning Medicaid payments.  The state is increasing some Medicaid payments to physicians, who haven’t seen a raise from the program in 14 years.  The state will also pay higher bonuses for patients seen over the last 18 months.The raises are approximately 25%, or about $32 million, while the bonuses are around $39 million dollars.  The bonuses are based on the size of a doctor’s Medicaid clientele and the number of procedures performed, including baby deliveries.  Medicaid pays for about half of the newborn deliveries in Indiana

The state is hoping more physicians will see Medicaid patients, whose care, because of the lack of an increase, often costs physicians money. 

Approximately 1 in 7 Hoosiers are enrolled in the program.  Medicaid is jointly funded by state and federal dollars, with both entities sharing in the increased costs.

December 8, 2007

Cleaning out the RSS Feed Barrel

 Most days, the Blogmeister doesn’t get to all the news stories he wants to.  Here are all the stories and posts the Blogmeister either didn’t get to, or were deemed interesting, but not worthy of the Blog, over the past week.

Foster mother of 45 gets help in time of need  
Read This Story: What The Guv’s Tax Plan May Mean For Marion County 
The Fallen Mighty: Allen County GOP Short On Cash After Election  
Kenley Has Devoted Years To Tax Reform, Proposals 
County executive concept develops  :Commissioners back idea; plan may go to legislature.  
Harper’s findings 

Report Ready on Trimming Government
Late filings cost Burton’s PAC $4,450 
Supreme Court will decide Indianapolis case 
Daniels appeals FEMA aid decision 
Suicidal molester sentenced 

Gloomy Hoosiers Opinion 
Senators urging welfare overhaul 
Children dying for lack of child-sized drugs   
Always aroused: A good thing gone awry
Indiana lawmakers consider bill to eliminate township assessors office               
Senate skeptical about appointed assessors        
Republican lawmaker’s support for Daniels’ tax plan is wavering?       
Local Concern: Kenley Cautious In Light Of New Circuit Breaker Data       
Now What? Tully Asks Readers To Chime In With Ways To Fix Phoenix       
Property tax plan to get another look     
Teacher’s post on blog leads to arrest, debate    
Dobson criticizes tax plan:  Commissioner says St. Joseph wouldn’t be able to function under Daniels’ proposal
Working ’10 til 2′ aids at-home professionals 
Lawmaker calls for balance on taxes  
Coming to terms with conflict at the office
Losing virginity early or late tied to health risks 
How depressed is your state?    
Child abuse death isn’t the fault of system 
Brain glitch behind distortion of self-image 
Smaller babies grow up to be sadder adults 
Anorexia risk may start before birth 
Fever can unlock autism’s grip     

December 4, 2007

Anti-psychotic Drugs in U.S. Nursing Homes

Filed under: Elderly — kurtglmft @ 10:10 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Hat tip to Fort Wayne Observed for posting this article regarding Medicare and Medicaid payments for anti-psychotic drugs in nursing homes. 

Check out the post here.

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