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spittinfire 06-17-2009 01:10 PM

can my employer really do this?
I sit down at my desk this morning to the following email.


TOMORROW AM - Many state budgets are under the gun and being reduced. North Carolina is certainly no different. Health and Human Services which operates the Division of Medical Assistance which administers the Medicaid program for DME, is cutting $3.5 BILLION. This means that the NC General Assembly is trying to not only cut over $3.5Million from DME for the fiscal year ’09-’10 (beginning July 1) BUT they are also calling for “PURCHASING IN BULK FROM A SINGLE SOURCE”!! Plus, asking to save over $4 Million FY ’10-’11. (Page G12 (pg 62 of linked document), Item 118 in the House Appropriations Subcommittee for HHS - )

Without getting too wrapped up in the details of what this means exactly or where it came from, it is NOT what the DME community in NC needs to have happen. Patients and businesses WILL SUFFER. If this budget item actually means ONE PROVIDER - patient access and quality of service will suffer and costs WILL shift to other areas of the Medical community. NCAMES is committed to bringing other cost-saving measures to the table.

Please call your House and Senate Conference Committee Chairs in the NC General Assembly in Raleigh TODAY!!!! and urge them:
- DO NOT go to a BULK PURCHASING from a SINGLE SOURCE provider for DME
- DO NOT HARM Patients by reducing ACCESS & Lower quality of CARE
- DO NOT REDUCE this COST-Saving BENEFIT! Home Care SAVES money and costs WILL shift exponentially to other areas of HHS
- DO NOT HARM Businesses and HURT NC’s economy
- DO Work with NCAMES to SOLVE the budget woes

Call the Senators and Representatives listed below who are Chairing the Conference Committee on the Budget. We will do lunch for everyone tomorrow for making these calls in the AM – each employee needs to take 10 minutes and call each office there is a total of 14 calls each staff member will make – this should take about 15 minutes to make all the calls total at a max.

At 11AM we will run a report to ensure all the calls were made from our phone system and then we will order lunch. Being a voice in the industry is crucial and it takes all of us if we turn our backs to it then we are doing nothing but damaging the industry. The Team Leaders, Casey, Don and myself will all be rallying up to make these calls as well. Then we’ll order lunch for all offices.

Doesn't that come off as a little threatening? Like, if you don't call, we will know and you may lose your job...

I don't agree with our medicaid system and I am personally aware of a number of people who are milking it for all it's worth. If it needs to be cut then cut it. I specifically work with mobility equiment, power wheelchairs and such. I know for a fact that people who do not need this equipment will force it thru medicaid and then turn around and sell the thing for $1,000 when medicaid paid $8k for it. These people make me sick. The people I work for didn't care about the system or the people before it was going to hurt their wallet.
I called my wife and told her what happened and that I wasn't going to call. If they want to make an issue of then I'll deal with but I don't think it's right so I won't do it. She agreed with me so at least I've got her support but what a way to kick of a Wednesday morning.

Jo da Plumbr 06-17-2009 01:22 PM

If it was me I would make all the calls. When I get the proper office on the line I'd say...

"I'd like to place an order for delivery. I'd like the Kung Pao Chicken, with braised string beans and shrimp fried rice."

When they say I have the wrong number, I apologize and hang up. Records show the call was made, and I could even honestly say, "yes I called my senator"

As long as calls are not recorded I’ve kept my job and my principals, and had a good laugh to boot.

JiroZero713 06-17-2009 01:23 PM

Legally they can not do that....but they are asking for a weird way of course that is forceful.

If you lose your job then you can smell lawsuit in the air.

RL357Mag 06-17-2009 01:29 PM

Whatever you do - SAVE THAT E-MAIL as well as a hard copy. Was it the Governor of NC that was opposed to taking the "stimulus" money? Or was it SC?

spittinfire 06-17-2009 02:05 PM

That was SC, the idiot we have, Bev Perdue is all about the stimulus and getting every last penny she can.
I've already forwarded the email to my personal account and printed a copy. Everyone here is acting scared and calling whether they agree or not. I had one co worker tell me that we all HAD to call. I told her, no we don't, her response was, yes we do, they're going to check and make sure we did. My response was, will you let them tell you how to vote too? In my mind that's exactly what this is.
Besides that, isn't it all kinds of illegal? kinda like paying someone to vote for a person?

Dillinger 06-17-2009 02:16 PM

I am no phone expert, but I have built a ton of their backbone plant around the country. I am not so sure the people in your office will be able to track who is, and who is not, calling.

If you call your cell phone from your desk, does it come up as the exact call back number? Or does it go through some router or phone server? Most large business use a reverse funnel type of approach instead of paying for several dedicated outside phone lines. Internal calls are funneled into one of a few outgoing/outside lines - this keeps costs down.

If it goes through a phone server/call router, good effing luck tracking who did and who did not make the calls.

I agree - This is a very underhanded way of "making" you do what they want you to do. I definitely don't think it's 100% legal, but I think there is enough gray around the edges to make Jo's suggestion the best possible solution while you look for that new job. :D


spittinfire 06-17-2009 02:25 PM

I'm so pissed right now I can hardly focus.

I have to agree with Joe's idea but at the same time I feel like I'm sacrificing my ideals for the sake of a crappy job. Even if call and don't make a statement.

orangello 06-17-2009 02:30 PM

When i worked for a state agency in MS, there were specific rules in place barring political action/activities (seems to fit this) in the workplace. I guess they had already been sued. I say make the call & read your Senator the email, thank them for their time, and move on. When i say "read the email", i do mean for you to include the "from" line. Go for that "deadpan" voice just for comic effect.

If they are just counting calls somehow, they will see that enough people called to preclude the bosses complaining about non-participation. The Senator's office will eventually be crawling some arse, i'd bet.

spittinfire 06-17-2009 02:35 PM

The thought just entered my mind to take the email and send it to all the state senetors and let them decide what to do with it, or maybe to my lawyer....
I'm not into sueing people for stuff like this but it's wrong and should be adressed.

spittinfire 06-17-2009 05:30 PM

I've decided to contact my local representative as well as a local, conservative (but independant) talk show as I'm very familiar with them. They are all about individual rights and should be able to help me direct my efforts.
I can't let this one go. I didn't volunteer for the USMC for people to abuse the system like this. I may no longer be an active Marine but I can still defend the constitution and I fully intend to do so.

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