Honestly with all the typing on my updated resume page, the fullest yet about me page, and the new disclaimer page, then typing a very long email response to my fellow County Commission Corey Kennedy, I just can’t type any more and I need to rest soon. As the first three are already online, I’m going to post my third at the end of this days adventure, and I’ll be brief until then.
This morning was my last bit of committee work for the City or County, I will reflect more on the persons in the photo above as the opportunities and the stories I have are impactful. My last trip riding the elevator in City Hall, seeing old friends, and getting the tax man paid.
Then an amazing phone call and truly the highlight of my day from Leah at Summit Heights Dental to confirm my cleaning appointment for Friday – as I’ve maxed out my dental insurance, she wanted to let me know before I got there, that I would have to pay out of pocket. So nice of the company to pay her to do such, however her personality on the phone was her own. A wonderful smile for my day.
My last (so far) breakfast at the BZB. I have finally worked up my appetite from all year of trying, and finished my entire meat lovers omelette smothered in gravy – and Ashley wasn’t there to see it. Best in omelette in Jackson County. I’m still full. Then I cleaned a bit, and finished my response to Corey response to my first email that I mentioned yesterday. Obviously Corey doesn’t follow the story or he wouldn’t have asked that only question. Without further ado:
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2022 7:42:32 PM
To: Corey Kennedy <CKennedy@mijackson.org>; Mike Overton <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Commissioners <Commissioners@mijackson.org>
Subject: Re: County update
This email got longer than I thought it would; to most quickly answer your question: yes I plan to attend the County meeting 5p on 12/20.
Thank you for your response, in addition to your requests for clarity I also appreciate your points of views on some of the issues presented. Whether here or in person, I have faith our dialog will continue to help open better options, if available; as we both agree the decisions I make may affect many more than myself. I have always respected your opinion as a friend and colleague, and humbly this year I respect it more than my own. To note, it is difficult for me to be concise and detailed while remaining brief. For those that want to be fully informed, as always, they can do their research and follow along at jeromyalexander.com.
To complete my reply, I will address each sentence of your response with my remarks in red:
In response to your email to fellow commissioners I guess I need some clarity.
Again, thank you for your requests for clarity.
At the Tuesday 11/22/22 meeting during commissioner comment you thanked everyone for the honor to serve and then announced that you would not be attending anymore meetings.
Yes that is true yet I also explained at the same time the cause: the immediate prioritization of my healthcare above all else. In details I skipped for brevity: receiving the surgery before the end of the year even if I had to legally vacate our great state was the priority. Hence my future attendance could not be expected and I considered it best to say so. There is also more I said.
You then walked out even though we had a closed session that the rest of us went into to and then came out and voted on.
Yes, I did walk out of the room as we all did and differently I rode the elevator down and went home. With the previous prioritization of my healthcare, I determined that I had sat down enough and needed my remaining physical ability to get me home safely. If you’d like more clarity on that decision making process, you can refer to the private Facebook message between you and I, which I feel honestly is best kept private as it is between you and I alone.
Since then we’ve had a study session on Tuesday 12/6/22 that we needed to take action on two items at and our Public Safety and Transportation, General Government, and Health and Human Services Committee Meetings on Monday 12/12/22.
That is true. Those actions passed unanimously in my absence and my vote would have been with the majority. My effort was not needed there as you had eight and I am one working here. As you may not know in addition to my other injuries, after the meeting on 11/15 I broke my leg again, fracturing both my fibula and tibia – as well as revealing a break Henry Ford missed.
You did not attend any of those either.
That is true.
As for my day, I spent at my house in Jackson packing the whole day to leave for Florida as soon as possible; as I with the totality of my situation this year, I am leaving Michigan. Perhaps you noticed my Facebook posts in the same regard as we are friends there. I am still working on this and only taking breaks to type as I need too.
This Monday the 12th, the day previous to my email to fellow commissioners, is the day I received the phone call from the Regional Director of Orthopedics for Henry Ford, to tell me my final ‘Hail Mary’ to Henry Ford had worked and after an eight month delay, containing here untold stories of misdiagnosis and mistreatments already written for your research on my website – was accepted. In order to convince Henry Ford to perform my surgery I had to offer them a full waiver for their care and treatment of me for this year.
My lawyer thinks I’m an idiot. He wants me to sue the doctors, hospitals, the insurance company and my employer – which in his mind was the provider of my insurance, as we are technically employees. Which is again is an untenable position to me.
I just wanted my surgery. So I used something that had no value to me (threat of lawsuit) to negotiate for what I wanted and it worked; I’ve come see that most of Jackson works this way.
Next, I carried on with my previous tasks, packing to move as I still don’t trust that something might interrupt their plans for my surgery on the 21st. This is the third time we’ve been this far along to a surgery date – although the first I’ve received assurances from their ‘powers that be’.
Those meetings essentially covered the administrator updates that you requested.
That may be true, yet being accustomed to a weekly update; I found it odd I had not received one since 11/15. If there were no updates sent to Commissions excepting myself, then so be it. However if there were updates sent in which I was not included, I would like those resent.
I suggest you take a look and Board Docs and get up to speed if you wish to do so.
I think we both know I am familiar with the site and have always come prepared.
In addition we have another meeting Tuesday 12/20/22.
Yes, I am aware of the schedule.
Are you planning on attending that?
Yes and rather than show up unannounced I sent my email to fellow commissioners.
If not then you haven’t attended any of the December meetings and thus shouldn’t write in an email that you plan on being present at the remaining meetings.
That is also true. If I did not plan to attend the remaining meeting, I should not write that I plan on being present at the remaining meetings. I do plan on attending Tuesday 12/20/22 and being it is the last meeting before Christmas I saw the start time will be 5pm. I believe their may be an after party downstairs as I recall from last year, though I may not stay that long if my presence detracts from the festivities. I do plan to stay for the duration of the business meeting.
It’s disingenuous to say the least.
Here I believe your “it” is referring to your above conditional statement if supplied with a positive premise. Meaning if I read your sentence as “If I don’t plan to attend the meeting and write in an email I would plan on being present at the remaining meeting’s is disingenuous to say the least” then yes that is true, it would be a lie if I did not intend to attend the only remaining meeting. There is nothing more important to me than keeping my word to God, myself, and to others. And I appreciate my friends calling me out to clarify as needed.
In regards to the burden of your cost of medical services being passed onto state taxpayers you should understand that by using the county’s BCBS plan you are actually shifting the burden of the cost directly to Jackson County taxpayers and Jackson County employees.
This is an interesting sentence. It is almost true, except that your phrase “you are actually shifting” would not be true. The County’s BCBS plan is my insurance provider and I have paid one hundred percent of my premiums with no copay from the County, and hence it is their responsibility to pay for my medical care this year, and they could have paid half as much had my case would have been properly managed from Florida to Michigan and here through the year.
This is not shifting anything – it’s leaving the responsibility exactly where it lays.
However you seem to share the point of view of the BCBS insurance company as I’ve maneuvered their ranks this year, they seem to have no problems with the delays I’ve encountered and insist this is par for course in an overworked medical system. With each delay by BCBS is whether by intent or happenstance, that is actually shifting this onto the tax payers of the whole state.
As far as how the County’s plan is financially structured for catastrophic cases, I do not know.
I do know that if someone was to be catastrophically injured on the Counties BCBS plan, I’m glad it was me and not a fellow commissioner or may God forbid a staff member of the County.
It effects our experience rating and about 20% of your costs will ultimately be paid by our county employees.
Again I won’t speak to the details of the financial structure, as I am not fully aware, however no county employee will have their premiums increased or pay a dime in regard to my healthcare.
Further, next year when the County re-go’s the process of the annual health quote there will be an increase already that we knew of approximately, and yes algorithmically, my healthcare costs would be computed into part of that cost.
However, Commissioners are not privy to the individual costs of group members, and the release or any implication of health care costs or any effect of those costs identified to specific group member would be a violation of that members HIPPA rights.
I don’t think I should need to worry that I’ll be blamed for increases for using what I paid for.
In fact, this statement, when combined with other statements below “currently it is your right to do so” while implying that by using that right I’m hurting the County, is disingenuous to me.
So by all means use the insurance while you are still eligible to.
Thank you. I can’t imagine in what case you would think otherwise.
You are the only commissioner of all 9 of us who uses the insurance but currently it is your right to do so and something this board should probably look at eliminating for future commissioners.
This statement is misleading at best, so I’ll quickly call it false. All commissioners are paid an equal benefit package, excepting an enhancement to the chair perhaps. As for the medical benefit offered to each of us, we were all forced to choose one of three options. Either the HMO, the PPO, or the one thousand dollars added to your paycheck.
Perhaps your implication of this statement is that I am the only of the nine to not already have the luxury of health insurance. That would be true. As an uneducated seasonal contract based skydiving instructor, health insurance is not commonly available in my profession.
That being said don’t think for a second that you’re saving tax payers anything.
By influencing Henry Ford to perform the surgery before the end of the year, the surgery will be paid by BCBS and not by the state insurance – this saves the taxpayers of Michigan from having to pay the cost and rightfully so. The surgery should have been done in April and there should be no issue with who would pay ‘next year’.
Secondly, by offering a waiver to secure the surgery, I am intentionally sacrificing millions according to my attorney for the opportunity to receive the surgery. I feel that also saves people all over Michigan and in Jackson County from increased trickle down premiums due to a lawsuit payout.
Thirdly, by not allowing my attorney to sue (had I not given a waiver to obtain the surgery,) and although I would not have allowed him to sue the County directly, certainly suing it’s insurance carrier would have a negative effect, worse the possibly that lawsuit proceeds would come in end from the County directly or indirectly, again not something I’m okay with.
For these reasons I believe your statement is false.
This drives our annual costs up and in the end Jackson County taxpayers pay our annual costs.
Everything drives up annual cost. Had I just stayed healthy and not died, my standard annual healthcare would cost more next year (had I stayed a member of the plan.) So the fact that costs will go up alone is an over-simplification of the issue. A better way to look at it would be, what would be the cost had I not given a waiver, not gotten the surgery, and allowed my attorney to sue for the damages caused to me this year.
My actions, specifically over the last month, have saved millions (attorney’s guess) in future payouts as well as the staff time and effort to deal with such things.
You want to use the county plan for as long as you legally can.
I want to use the plan offered and paid for the same as each commissioner as they chose to receive one of the three medical benefit options. You also plan to use your $1000 as long as you legally can.. correct?
before using Medicaid.
Actually no, that is not the plan, that is in fact the problem. I won’t use Medicaid. I would personally rather die than be a burden on a public system and if it does come to that point, I will not be a burden to my state for which I have sworn my oath. I will receive as much treatment as possible that is covered by my insurance that I have paid for, that being my surgery scheduled on the 21st. However the surgical follow up appointment on January 6, I will not be present for, as I plan to leave the state the first morning I am physically able to leave likely the 22nd or 23rd. As I plan to complete packing beforehand.
Michigan has been my home my entire life and Jackson has been my home for twenty seven years, however if I cannot provide value to my community then I will leave it rather than burden to it.
Just be honest because the truth will set you free.
Yes you are right. I seldom have a problem with the truth, though I did have issues with expressing all of it – most don’t take the time to listen or read all that I have to say. Hence part of my new direction as I leave the state. I’m going to try to be an author writing my own unique story online day by day at jeromyalexander.com. How that turns to profit or even sustains me, I’ve yet to figure out, but for now I have a lot of walking to do and I’m going to do it someplace warm.
Good luck on your surgery.
Regarded well I hope.
I hope that adds the clarity you requested. One question you didn’t ask was regarding the other County benefits that we were offered to all of us. I did select and pay my premiums for the Long Term Disability option also since the beginning of the year.
Researching that plan early this year, I learned it did not matter if I was permanently disabled and lost my job as a skydiver, as the county plan only covers county work. And as County Commissioner, I have attended meetings and engaged in debate.
However, have I done my duties fully due to my medical issues? Absences in January, February, and again in December would indicate not. Was I able to win an election? No. Was I able to gain the support of my colleagues and achieve legislative success? No.
I think my attorney may be right that I am quite literally a disabled commissioner, do you agree?
I don’t want to agree with that. I want to be legislatively successful in my final meeting and it took me all year to learn how the County system works, maybe I think. I will attend the meeting on the 20th and if any resolution is entered by another Commissioner to congratulate Mayor Mahoney, and if it is supported by another commissioner, I will vote yes on it. In fact, I’ll vote with the majority all night. Otherwise I’ll be mostly silent except for offering my best Christmas prayer for Jackson.
If the resolution comes up and passes it would be most obvious that I would have been legislatively successful and hence most certainly not a disabled commissioner by any stretch of the imagination; and you have my own words here to hold me to it.
If a resolution to congratulate Mayor Mahoney is not passed, then the next morning before my surgery I will hire my attorney to pursue my full rights as a disabled commissioner, as a lifetime pension of six hundred and fifty dollars per month would be a great return on investment for the premiums I’ve paid. Not a bad lifetime income, though sadly it would come directly at the cost of Jackson County.
Let’s work together on this, so that I don’t have to leave this coming meeting feeling as disabled as when I left the last one.
I love you Corey and I have the deepest respect for you as Commission Kennedy.
Personally my goal and hope, and your assistance is requested, is to leave the State of Michigan with my head held high, having kept every word I’ve said.
Regarding you well,
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2022 11:29:41 AM
To: Mike Overton; Commissioners
Subject: County update