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I Thought This Was a Joke, But It's True...

I Thought This Was a Joke, But It's True...

From the How-did-I-not-know-that? department came a fact I learned from listening to Chris Arnold's report on NPR's Morning Edition Wednesday.

When Mitt Romney was Massachusetts governor in 2003 and facing with a $3 billion state budget deficit, he didn't want to raise taxes since that would prevent him in the future from claiming he hadn't raised taxes.

So he proposed new or increased fees, including a $10 licensing fee on the blind so a sight-impaired person could receive a state certificate of blindness.

Really? A blind person had to get a license of blindness? There's nothing in the story nor can I find anything by googling to indicate there were similar fees for the deaf, amputees or widows or orphans.

Actually, in 2007, the Boston Globe reported that it didn't stop at the $10 licensing fee for the blind:

"Two proposed fees that drew some of the most criticism would have imposed a new $10 charge on those seeking a certification of blindness from the state and another $15 fee for photo identification cards for the blind. They were approved by lawmakers, but later repealed.

"Bob Hachey, president of Bay State Council of the Blind, said that while the fees were relatively modest, they could have made life harder on blind individuals on fixed incomes. He said Romney's penchant for fees even earned him a nickname.

" 'We renamed him 'Fee-Fee.' He was so unwilling to raise taxes that he was wanting to put all these fees in place instead,' Hachey said."

It seems remarkable that Romney and the legislature enacted the blindness fee in Massachusetts. Doesn't it seem like someone would have said: "You know, on second thought, this blind fee thing doesn't seem like such a good idea after all?"

Backing a fee for the blind seems like the kind of thing no ambitious politician would want to see coming back at him from a rival's "oppo research" team.

That Massachusetts lawmakers eventually repealed the fee suggests that they recognized their initial action as a case of political blindness.

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stephley stephley 4 years
But here we're talking about a governor who didn't want to raise taxes so fees like these were added instead. Personally, I don't care about the administrative costs of getting health records - that would apply for anyone - but targeting the blind and mentally handicapped with fees while the wealthiest get tax cuts and corporations pay no taxes is unacceptable.
BiWife BiWife 4 years
only time you have to pay for medical records is if they're being transferred to someone other than a new physician or specialist; when you're wanting your entire medical record for your own safekeeping/storage/information; when the doctor's office doesn't actually maintain records and has a 3rd party do this (if this is the case, you'll be notified in writing at the same time you fill out the HIPAA disclosure and other various and sundry paperwork). However, there are also state laws that govern the accessibility of medical records, so the state that I have lived in the most (Colorado) may have different laws that protect the patient moreso than other states. ESPECIALLY if it has to do with disability, there are usually waivers you can get if your dr is trying to bill you illegally.
Grandpa Grandpa 4 years
hypno, I have known a number of people who had to pay by the page to have their medical records forwarded. i have no idea how widespread the practice is. My kid sister had to pay by the page to have her records sent to social security when she was diagnosed with cancer, and was applying for disability.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 4 years
Well I've never paid my Dr. for a letter diagnosis and when it comes to sending other Dr.'s, providers or State offices my diagnosis info they send that electronically.
stephley stephley 4 years
Nothing funnier than a really really rich guy so opposed to tax hikes that he'll charge the blind and mentally disabled for services.
UnDave35 UnDave35 4 years
"'What ever happened to medical records? Aren't they free? LOL " :rotfl: I wish. No, they cost about $4.00 a page, and take 5-10 business days to get. HIPPA is a real B!tch.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 4 years
A State certificate of blindness?! What ever happened to medical records? Aren't they free? LOL

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