Green Card Lottery?

Once again, I am a paralegal not an attorney. So this is in no way meant to be, taken as, or construed as legal advice. This Blog is intended to be legal information only. Also let us not forget that when a lawyer and or a paralegal becomes involved your problem becomes an ISSUE.
Okay, let’s get this show started than. I think we’ll started with the infamous Green Card. The quote Green Card was created in the 1950’s as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act. A Green Card had two major purposes. First as Photo-ID Card issued to a foreign national. Then it allows an alien to live, work and pay taxes in the United States. A Green Card holder gets to do this without giving up citizenship in their home country. Yes, Martha legal immigrants do have to pay taxes.
However over the years the term Green Card has become generic. Meaning everything from a immigration Photo-ID Card, to allowing an applicant to attend school in this country. It to even includes the type of ink used to validate a travel visa when you come back from abroad.
Believe it or not there is a Green Card lottery. Playing the Green Card Lottery is only slightly more complicated than playing power-ball. You see Instead of buying a scratch ticket like for any of the money lotteries, all an applicant fills out a set of forms including a photo submitting them online. Each year the State Department accepts Lottery applications from October 1 to November 3. Than all an applicant has to set back and wait. Hoping and praying to win.
Side-Note: Until 2009 a lottery applicant could mail in hard copies to the US State Department but now an applicant can only submit their application online.
Note: If an applicant wins they can bring their spouse and or children with them if they were listed on the entrance application.
This Green Card lottery is held each a year by the US State Department not Homeland Security. Each year, 55,000 immigrant visas (Green Cards) are awarded in this lottery. This Green Card lottery was created as an official program pursuant to Sec. 203 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The idea behind this is to diversify who immigrate to our county. Opening the door to immigrants from 3rd and 4th world countries. This Green Card lottery is also supposed to open the door for low-income emigrates from other countries.
According to the rules there is only two things that can disqualify an applicant’s Green Card lottery application. First is trying to enter the lottery from a country on the disavowed list. Such as Brazil,
Ecuador and or the Dominicans Republic who are on the State Departments naughty list. other countries like Great Britain and or India who were disavowed for other reasons. Than not having the skills or education an applicant claims to have
WARNING: The countries on the State Departments naughty list. This list of naughty countries changes and changes frequently. So keep an eye on that list.
Now here is the catch if an applicant wins the State Department will not notify them. An applicant has to go online every few weeks. Just to see if they had won. The only thing a winner has to pay are the travel costs to get them here.

Bill, S. 1982 VET HEALTH

Interesting, did you know there was a bill presented to the senate this last February. February 2014. This bill would have built 27 new veteran hospitals. It would have purchased much-needed new equipment and replaced equipment to antiquated to handle patient needs. It would have created educational programs for doctors and nurses to better equip them to handle changing patient needs resulting from daring to survive the USLESS IRAQ and the Afghan wars.

It would also allow Veteran Hospitals to accept and treat Vets with medical conditions resulting from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars not yet listed as service connected disabilities. These medical problems would be treated but the Vet would not get disability pay. At least not until the disability is approved by the VA system. This Bill would have allowed Vets get the specialized care needed without going millions of dollars into debt.

But with the current bureaucracy unless a tank roles over your leg and at least 8 people are standing there and taking pictures. It can take anywhere up to 6 years to get a service connected classification for your medical problem. Just ask Vietnam vets how long it took them to get the VA Systems to recognize the very long list of medical problems created by Agent Orange.

But Of course cost conscious Senators like Marco Rubio Jeff Sessions and a number of other republicans have decided that this would cost just too much. So they saw fit to filibustered The Bill until it was dead.

This after forcing our military to keep open, and to train and staff 3 installations. Plus update the same Installations. Installations our military has decided serve no valuable or needed function in protecting this country and wanted to close them. Then there was an officer pay raise. Our military decided a 1% would be more than enough, but our wonderful congress decided that Officers needed a 2% cost of living raise. The same ones who decided a pay raise for us vets would cost too much.

Now let’s get into how The VA medical system operates. It works a lot like medical insurance. Although instead being based on your income the VA system is based on your medical conditions. For example, if you enter the VA Medical System without a service connected medical need you will have a $15 co-pay to see your primary care doctor. $65 if you need to see a specialist and $8 for whatever medication you might need.

Wow, ghee that is a whole money isn’t?

Now let’s say you enter VA system with a 10% service connected disability for a gunshot wound. Now let’s say 10 months after you get your 10% rating, your primary care doctor discovers a bone infection were you got shot and the infection is spreading. Because of your 10% rating, all and I do mean all treatments, tests, medications and or hospitalization your doctor’s order are covered at no charge. No treatment or medication prescribed by a doctor can be denied. Unless a board of doctors disagree with the prescribing Doctor. That’s doctors not accountants. If you get a 50% disability rating you medical bills disappear.

So you see the higher your disability rating smaller your medical bill. The February Vet bill would have allowed freshly discharged vets with little or no income seek care without going into debt.

Veteran’s Opinion

Let’s start with the fact, I am a Veteran. I have been a patient of the Veteran’s medical system for the last 15 years after my legs went bad.

Okay this is where things can get a bit confusing. The 1st time I became a part of the Veteran’s Medical System was after an honorable discharge in 1985. I enlisted in the VA Medical System because was the only medical insurance I could afford while I tried to go to school. This lasted until I took a job at the VA Hospital and worked there for almost 6 years. During those 6 years I had ‘private’ medical insurance and as an employee I had to seek my care in the civilian world. Eventually I was medically laid off because of my legs going bad. Then my insurance began rejecting treatments and procedures. That is when I returned to the VA medical system.

So as you can see I am quite familiar with both VA medical system and ‘private medicine.’ as both patient and employee. So you see I can honestly compare the 2 system.

With that said and as Ed Shultz says ‘Let’s get to work.’

The years I worked at the Denver VA Hospital it taught me that the hospital was working at capacity. There was a time we had more patients then we had beds. Often this was the result of what we called ‘dumps’. A dump is when one of the for profit hospital discovers that one of their patients is indigent or if patients insurance had reached its capacity for the year and were not going to pay anything more. If the patient is a veteran they would move that patient to a local VA Hospital.

I remember when I was assigned to a surgical intensive care unit a veteran was rolled in attached to every portable life support there was. His paperwork showed he was a ‘dump’.

Then came the budget cuts. Thanks to the republican cuts we had to close 2 wards and a medical intensive care unit. Those now unused patient rooms were turned into offices no one use and a st0ore room with nothing in it.
Then came a rare moment of sanity in which congress recognized PTSD and Agent Orange as real medical conditions. Doubling the patient load.

Now thanks to 2 useless manufactured wars the VA Patient load is quadrupling. These Veterans are seeking care with traumas and injuries that in World War II meant death.

Last year republicans cut another 29 billion from Veteran’s budget. The sequestration budget cut another 10% was cut from the VA Budget. During the Bush/Cheney years $60 billion was cut from the VA budget. Good old super smart Paul Ryan fixed it so veterans will not be getting a cost of living raise for 3 years. Hell, He has made it clear he wants to cut all disability payments to Vets and to everybody else getting help for that matter. As part of his war on wasteful social spending.

So what I don’t get is why republicans are uptight about doctor’s being forced to see 20 or more patients in day and not being able to give their patients the time they need. Plus patients waiting several months or more for visits to specialty doctors or their primary doctor.

Anyway it seems to me strange that republicans are upset because Vets are slipping through the cracks and dying.
Well that’s my rant.

Next week back to Bankruptcy

Veteran’s

Forgive me as I go off topic this week. After last week’s post on Captain Ed, I have seen a few political shows commenting briefly, very briefly, on the number of veterans that have wound up in jail.

Side-Note: Check out the Rachel Maddox show she seems willing to take on subjects one else wants to touch. Like American debtors prisons in 2013.

These veterans were charged with everything from simple robbery, sex crimes to out and out, rage murders. No one can seem to understand how or why these men and women are now in jail.

I don’t understand the confusion. After all we’re are talking about men and women who spent the last 10 years in a world where the time to think and evaluate a possible threat simply doesn’t exist. Combat is a world where ‘threats eliminate threats or somebody dies’ is 1st rule of survival.  Combat is a world where every Stranger either a new friend or somebody who wants to kill you, no shades of gray. The shades gray that’s a part of the mundane world is exceptionally rare in combat.  Imagine standing in line to buy groceries and the person ahead of gets mad at the cashier. Three or four things are gonna happen, anything from a few angry words, to a cop arresting the unhappy customer.  Now in combat world you’re at a local shop were you just brought something than somebody walks in and starts screaming. A bomb goes off.

In the movie ‘My Cousin Vinnie’ staring Joe Pesci. There is a sub-plot to the story, Joe Pesci’s search for a good night’s sleep. It took a full-blown prison riot for him sleep peacefully. Funny huh?   Not if this is your normal world.

Now you come home after 10 years of living in combat world.  You get a day maybe two out processing and then you are back in the mundane world where every skill you’ve learned, every instinct you’ve developed staying alive is now bad.  Plus you are told those benefits, especially the medical benefits, we promised you for your service, don’t worry you’ll get them when we get around to it. No worries.  In the mean time you are on your own.

Oh yeah, thank you for your service to our country, you are a hero.

How would you feel? Think about it, you’ve just spent the last 10 years risking your life, watching friends and co-workers killed. Your home-coming is a pat on the head and being told now go be normal. Just like a 9-year-old being told to go out and play.

Is it any wonder these veteran’s have a hard time adjusting to the mundane normal world. We learned nothing from Vietnam War, except to sound nicer to our veterans.

Well that is my vent.  As a veteran, this is something that really matters to me.

Next week, I’ll continue with money& lawyers I’m will be getting into the costs of practicing law.