Not Gonna Debate It

A friend posted this on Facebook today:

1. Pay off COVID pneumonia hospital bill.
2. Get a refund check from Advent Health for part of said bill.
3. Question Advent Health that this is legit, they confirm.
4. Get contacted by a collections agency for the refunded amount. Am told that “if they refund you it goes back on the account.”
What sort of Kafka-esque horseshit is this?
FFS. Medical billing and health Insurance in this country is a fucking joke.

It reminded me of something that happened 23 years ago. A woman pulled out of a parking lot onto a major street so suddenly I couldn’t avoid T-boning her on my brand-new Harley. I went over the handlebars and onto the hood, breaking bones in my right hand and cracking one of my kneecaps. Ambulance ride, X-rays, emergency room treatment, two weeks of physical therapy, all paid for by the woman’s insurance company, which also covered towing and repairs to the motorcycle. About a year later, I agreed to accept a cash settlement to drop any future claims. The day the check arrived, within the hour in fact, the hospital’s billing department called, demanding I hand over the settlement check for unpaid bills. The entire amount.

Clearly the insurance company was in cahoots with the hospital. The hospital’s argument to me was that the insurance company had only paid a certain percentage of the bills for my treatment and therapy. Now they wanted the rest, claiming it was on me to pay it. I refused. The settlement was for my pain and suffering, not the hospital’s. I kept the money, and never heard from them again.

It’s standard that medical insurance pays only a percentage of covered medical procedures, which doctors and hospitals agree to accept. This is true of private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. Insured patients — even, as in my case, people injured in accidents and covered by the at-fault party’s insurance — should never have to pay the difference. But I bet a lot of folks don’t know this, and fall for medical billing scams like the one the hospital tried to pull on me. And that’s exactly what it was — a scam. They must dupe a lot of people with it, otherwise they wouldn’t do it.

Kafka-escue? Damn right. A joke? Tell that to the millions of Americans who’ve lost everything to hospitals and doctors after a serious illness or accident. We need single-payer health care, like they have almost everywhere else.

A friend posted a reminiscence of South of the Border, the notorious roadside attraction off Interstate 95 in South Carolina, “America’s favorite highway oasis & gateway to the southeast!”

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I posted a comment, to which someone quickly responded. Here’s how that went:

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Yeah, I just bet he would “love to truly know why it is racist.” He’s a fucking sea lion, and he’s trying to sea-lion me. What, you never heard of sea-lioning? This’ll tell you everything you need to know:

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I’m not going to get into a one-sided debate with an insincere interlocutor. But here’s something interesting. I figured the three graphics would tell the story all by themselves. The South of the Border bumper sticker, the screenshot of my comment and the other guy’s response, and the cartoon explaining sea-lioning. So I posted them to Mastodon.* No problem-o, as Pedro, South of the Border’s sombrero’d siesta-taking Mexican stereotype mascot, would say.

Then I tried posting the same three graphics to Instagram — and Instagram wouldn’t let me! After some trial and error, I narrowed the problem to the first image, the South of the Border bumper sticker. Because it’s racist. There’s a reason Frito-Lay dropped the Frito Bandito, a reason you no longer see Speedy Gonzales cartoons on TV.

Nope. Not gonna debate a racist on what is and isn’t racist.

*Mastodon is where I’m at since Elon Musk turned Twitter into a MAGA QAnon Nazi Flat-Earther Anti-Vaxx forum. You can find me at and

2 thoughts on “Not Gonna Debate It

  • Nope, Toon In With Me on MeTV still shows Speedy Gonzalez cartoons. Saw one today with an equally racist Daffy Duck as a cruel bedouin on a camel. Of course Daffy always loses, in Warner Brothers toontown, and Speedy and pals win. Great show BTW, the talented Chicago DJ Bill Leff plays Bill the Cartoon Curator. His streetwise sidekick, Toony the Tuna, is played by the funny Kevin Fleming. Like Soupy Sales and Pee Wee’s Playhouse, ostensibly aimed at kids, the cartoons, puns, slapstick, show-and-tell, quizzes, sketch comedy and fart jokes can be appreciated by kids from eight to eighty. Showing fine curated cartoons from Warner Brothers like Bugs Bunny, Sylvester and Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam. And the muttering Popeye, Wimpy and sexy Betty Boop from even earlier. Even one-trick-ponies like Roadrunner and Tom&Jerry by MGM, they all reflect what shaped our worldview in our youth, if you’re elderly, as I have the honor to be. And, the Saturday morning cartoons taught us most of the classical music we recognize as adults. Highly recommended, 0700 hours on weekdays, Pacific time.
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