US Claims SLAM Lacks Legal Standing—Asserts That Mummy Mask is Illegal Contraband —Discovery Reveals More Information

Sunday, July 31, 2011
In the latest round of papers filed in court last week, lawyers for the US Attorney’s Office in St. Louis sought to strike the St. Louis Art Museum’s legal claim in the federal lawsuit involving the mummy mask of Ka-Nefer-Nefer. Federal authorities sought forfeiture of the mask in March after the museum filed for a declaratory judgment in February seeking quiet title to the artifact. Both cases were filed in federal district court in St. Louis.

Federal attorneys, in their July 27 pleading, contend that SLAM’s “claim of ownership is legally impossible, and as such the Mask is effectively contraband in the hands of the Museum.” The government argues that Egypt’s patrimony law, which gives ownership rights of cultural property to the Egyptians, makes it impossible for the SLAM to own the mummy mask. Therefore, SLAM has no legal standing to assert that it can own the mask.

The government’s brief analogizes SLAM’s claim to the mask as similar to asserting ownership over cocaine—one cannot legally claim ownership. Since the mask cannot be owned by the museum, the museum lacks standing to claim ownership, the government argues.

SLAM says that it has standing to be a legal party in the case because it bought the mask and it possesses it.

The government first disputed SLAM’s legal standing in a July 7 motion. Government attorneys filed the pleading following the receipt of interrogatory answers by SLAM. While the museum wrote that it objected to having to answer questions about how it acquired title to the mask or having to identify documents that would support its claim to lawful ownership, SLAM, nevertheless, answered the interrogatories without waving these objections.

The museum supplied the following information:

• It purchased the mummy mask for $499,000 from Phoenix Ancient Art of Geneva, Switzerland around April 3, 1998.

• Phoenix Ancient Art warranted in a purchase and sale agreement that it had title to the mask and could properly transfer title.

• Phoenix provided provenance information to SLAM before the purchase. “According to Phoenix, in or about 1995, it had purchased the Mask from Ms. Zuzi Jelinek, who in or about the early 1960’s, had purchased the Mask from the Kaloterna (or Kaliterna) private collection,” the interrogatory answer relates.

• The museum conducted a provenance investigation to determine if the mask was stolen by contacting INTERPOL, the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Art Loss Register, and the former director of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, Dr. Mohammed Saleh.

• The museum conducted an investigation through Swiss legal counsel to determine if there were any liens or encumbrances on the mask. No encumbrances were found.

• Swiss legal counsel confirmed Jelinek’s address.

• The museum contacted Dr. Saleh, who advised SLAM to contact another US museum and who did not say that the mask was stolen or “advise the museum against purchasing the Mask.”

SLAM also provided a spreadsheet of 19 documents, which it claims supports the museum’s legal interest in the mummy mask. The documents can be categorized as a purchase agreement, a bill of sale, letters, and emails.

Missing from the documents list is a purchase or sales agreement between Jenilek and Pheonix Ancient Art. SLAM claimed in past court filings that such a transaction would have occurred in 1995. SLAM, nevertheless, includes on the list of documents a 1997 fax from Phoenix that purportedly attaches a letter of provenance from Jenilek.

Also missing from the documents list are shipping papers or import papers describing the mask’s entry into the United States. Import papers generally describe a package’s date of entry, location of entry, country of origin, value, and contents. The court papers suggest that the mummy mask traveled from Switzerland to the United States in 1998, but this information remains unclear. The mask must have been imported into the United States at some time and at a specific point of entry. But the question of whether papers exist documenting the importation of the Egyptian mummy mask, valued at several thousands of dollars, remains unanswered thus far.


Friday, July 29, 2011
It was war. Ugly. Bloody. And there was plenty of collateral damage. Angela F. Braley, Chair, President, and CEO of Anthem/WellPoint, dug in her heels. She was, after all, the leader of the largest health insurance company in the country. Thirty-four million Americans counted on HER company. Last year’s revenues were $57.8 billion dollars. Yes billion, with a B. And yet, she was fighting a board room coup.

Ken Goulet, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Commercial Business Division, had his own ideas of how the company should be run. His area accounted for twenty-seven million Americans, 80% of the WellPoint’s medical insureds. He and the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Wayne DeVeydt, saw a need for an immediate rate increase to protect long-term financial security. They wanted more money in the company coffers, and they wanted that now. Ms. Braley disagreed.

The disagreement erupted at the Board meeting. Angry words were exchanged. Ms. Braley demanded spending cuts and changes in benefits. Goulet and DeVeydt tried to force across the board premium increases. Claims were suspended as the company attempted to sort out its finances and determine a prudent path to take. Insured’s were advised that their policies would be reactivated once a decision was reached, passed by the Board, and signed by the CEO. Until then, the best one could hope for was good health, a quick resolution, and a reasonable rate increase once the bill arrived.

The above is, of course, total fiction. Those are the names and titles of WellPoint’s leaders. The revenue and membership numbers are accurate, too. But the idea that an insurance company would hold up benefits while sorting out an internal conflict is just me being silly. Real businesses are too responsible to behave that way. No, the only place people’s lives are put in jeopardy like this is with the government.

Today is July 29, 2011. The Republicans just passed John Boehner’s bill. The Speaker of the House, the leader of the Republican majority, needed over 24 hours to get an almost meaningless piece of legislation approved by his own troops. In the end, the only thing he accomplished was the final destruction of his own reputation and position. This bill is Dead On Arrival at the Senate. Boehner knows that. His Republican members know that. And the Senate is incredibly clear about the bill’s status. There was only one reason to pass this legislation – political theater. If Boehner could have passed the bill with little effort, with all of the Republicans and a smattering of Blue Dog Democrats, he would have been in position to consolidate power and force a deal more to his members’ liking. Now? Who knows?

I don’t think we are going to default. I certainly hope we don’t. I keep thinking that the adults are going to step in at the last moment and resolve this. At the very least, I keep thinking that this will be kicked down the curb till next March.

Until this is resolved, seniors dependent on Medicare and countless others wait and wonder. Will they be paid next week? Will they be insured next week? Will the government shut down? We have states that have or are close to shut down. Why not Washington? With so many people campaigning against the federal government, what would happen if enough people got elected who wanted to dismantle the great social safety net?

And thus we return to my question – is your health care too important to be entrusted to politicians? This isn’t an unqualified endorsement of insurance companies, just a simple question. John Boehner? Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? John McCain? Which of these people would you like to have managing the nation’s health care industry? Which do you want in charge the next time you need a kidney?

Let me be clear, the insurance industry is only as good as the regulations that control it. Ask my friend John about his claims from Hurricane Katrina. Health insurance claims are far less aggravating then car or home insurance claims, but rules and regs play a large part in that. Financial stability comes, in part, from the laws the companies are forced to abide.

So, on Friday the 29th, the idea of Anthem not paying my clients claims is ridiculous. The idea that my friends and neighbors are being threatened by a government default that may or may not cover their claims isn’t ridiculous. It is shameful.


Smuggling Arrest and the Law Governing African Elephant Ivory

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Federal agents seized approximately one ton of elephant ivory smuggled over three years through JFK International Airport in New York. They arrested Philadelphia art dealer Victor Gordon for allegedly committing acts of conspiracy and smuggling and for violating the Lacey Act, which protects wildlife and other natural resources. He is charged with unlawfully importing and selling African elephant ivory. More details and photos of the extensive ivory haul can be found at and Also see

The current charges remind us about the laws governing the trade and possession of African ivory. African ivory is a heavily regulated item because of the protections afforded the African elephant under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Endangered Species Act.

The rules governing the possession and trade of African elephant ivory in the United States can be summarized as follows:

- It is illegal to own, sell, or export crafted ivory that was imported into the United States after 1989 and which was less than 100 years old when the crafted ivory came across the US border.

- It is illegal to own, sell, or export uncrafted ivory that was imported into the United States after 1989. The age of the ivory does not matter.

- It is legal to own, sell, or export crafted or uncrafted ivory that was imported into the United States before 1989.

Salem Alshdaifat and his company, Holyland Numismatics

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Holyland Numismatics is owned and operated by Salem Alshdaifat, the recently indicted co-defendant charged by a federal grand jury in New York with crimes associated with antiquities smuggling.  Court records indicate that he is a Canadian and Jordanian citizen who holds a US green card.  An indictment is not a finding of guilt.

Alshdaifat’s cached Facebook page indicates that Alshdaifat is the founder and president of the company since 2006. But Holyland Numismatic’s company web site states that the company was “[f]ounded in 2004 in Ontario, Canada, and moved in Michigan 2009, USA.”

Holyland Numismatics is apparently a sole proprietorship run out of Alshdaifat’s residence in Orchard Lake, Michigan. That community, near Detroit, is less than an hour from the Canadian border and less than 5 hours from Toronto.

Oakland County, Michigan records show that Holyland Numismatics registered its assumed business name on July 22, 2009, but discontinued that registration on December 15, 2009. The business owner was listed as Alshdaifat’s spouse, not Alshdaifat himself. But new registration papers filed on December 15, 2009 show Salem Alshdaifat to be the owner of Holyland Numismatics.

Holyland Numismatics’s web site lists a location in West Bloomfield, MI as its mailing address. That address is a Goin’ Postal mailbox store according to an internet search. The business location given by county records is an Orchard Lake, Michigan address, which is Alshdaifat’s residence. This business location is not displayed on the company's web site. Public property records for the Orchard Lake address reveal that it is a home owned in the name of Alshdaifat’s wife. The property appears to have been placed for sale as of June 2, 2011, but criminal court orders require the removal of this property from the real estate market since the house serves as collateral for Alshdaifat’s bail.

Holyland Numismatics’ web site remains active, suggesting that the company is operational. Since Alshdaifat is confined to his home under the terms of his bail and since his home appears to be his place of business, one reasonably can conclude that the business will continue to function as the criminal case against Alshdaifat moves forward.

More Free Stuff

Sunday, July 24, 2011
“Unintended pregnancies carry health consequences for the mother - psychological, emotional and physical – and also consequences for the newborn”, said Dr. Linda Rosenstock, panel chairwoman and dean of public health at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The overwhelming evidence was strongly supportive of the health benefit” of contraception.

The above paragraph was part of an Associated Press story that appeared Tuesday at The headline was Panel urges no co-pay insurance coverage for women’s birth control.

Last year’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) included a provision for preventive care. Most health insurance plans are now required to cover a list of preventive care exams and tests without any co-payments. FREE! The costs for these services are simply shifted to the insurance company who eventually shifts them back to you or your employer in the form of higher premiums. Knowing that recommendations over and above mammograms and Pap tests would be controversial, the issue was shipped over to the 16 person panel at the Institute of Medicine.

The panel recommended that the following female-specific items be included under the free preventive care benefit:
* All forms of contraception – Birth Control Pills, IUD, and emergency contraception (the morning-after pill)
* At least one “well woman” preventive care visit annually
* Annual HIV counseling and screening for sexually active women
* Annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections for sexually active women
* Screening for and counseling about domestic violence
* Screening every 3 years starting at age 30 for the virus that causes cervical cancer
* Screening for diabetes during pregnancy
* Support for breast feeding mothers, including the cost of renting pumps

The recommendations didn’t have a 16-0 endorsement. Anthony LoSasso, a senior research professor at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, objected. He noted the absence of a cost-benefit analysis. But since money wasn’t relevant, the Rosenstock led panel pushed through their wish list.

There is a very good chance that Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, will incorporate these recommendations into public policy in the next few weeks. There is an even better chance that Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, will be attacking the insurance companies next year when your rates go up.

I am not suggesting that giving women information and access is bad. Far from it. The lack of concern over cost bothers me. And, this decision to explore personal habits opens us, as a society, to countless issues.

Dispensing free contraceptives as part of preventive care means, in essence, that any woman physically capable of getting pregnant, but not utilizing some form of contraception, is not following accepted medical care. Should your eleven year old daughter be on the pill or have the patch? IUD at fifteen? I believe that this is a family discussion.

Is sex a choice? Is sex too desirable to avoid?

What about gun ownership? I’ve never owned a gun. I have never fired a real gun. But I know people who feel even more strongly about their guns than I do about the wooden pen I’m using to write this post. We know that children find guns in their homes and accidentally kill themselves, siblings, or playmates. What is to keep Secretary Sebelius from incorporating a gun ownership prevention/education/safety program into every child’s preventive care visit?

It doesn’t stop there. I was a healthy kid, but I had numerous basketball injuries. Should my teenage preventive care exams have come with elbow and knee pads, or should the doctor have just given up and prescribed a 30 minute video on the horrors of knee injuries?

Football is a choice. So is riding a bike. We now require children to wear bicycle helmets. Shouldn’t the doctor just periodically dispense them as the child outgrows them? This is preventive care. The science supports the need.

And Money Is No Object.

We live in a fantasy world where there is an abundance of free stuff. The U.S. is currently fighting two or three (depending on who you talk to) unfunded wars. The party, Democrat or Republican, out of power is always more obsessed with budgets and deficits than whichever is in charge. And wherever there is a microphone you will find a politician promising something for nothing.

We’re adults. We know better. But we still want more free stuff.


Bail Set, Lawyers File Appearances in Khouli Antiquities Smuggling Case

Friday, July 22, 2011
A multiple count felony indictment against Moussa "Morris" Khouli, Joseph A. Lewis II, Salem Alshdaifat, and Ayman Ramadan charges the defendants with antiquities smuggling crimes. Three defendants are now actively engaged in their cases that are before the federal court of the Eastern District of New York. Ramadan remains at large.

Khouli has been released on a $250,000 bond. Lewis has been released on a $250,000 personal recognizance bond. Meanwhile, the prosecution and the defense agreed to place Alshdaifat on a $500,000 bond along with conditions that include house arrest, electronic monitoring, and a waiver of extradition from Canada.

Lawyers for the three defendants have filed appearances, including attorney Gerald Shargel for Khouli, the firm of Mintz Levin for Lewis, and attorney Henry Mazurek for Alshdaifat. Khouli’s earlier attorneys have withdrawn from the case. Meanwhile, the United States is represented by Karin Orenstein and Claire Kedeshian.

A June 23 press release shows that this is the second major case Orenstein has been assigned recently. She also serves as the prosecutor in a ten person Oxycodone distribution case.

A Closer Look at the Case Against Mousa “Morris” Khouli and the Greco-Roman Coffin

Monday, July 18, 2011
A multiple count indictment publicly released last week implicates Mousa “Morris” Khouli and three others (Joseph A. Lewis, II, Salem Alshdaifat, and Ayman Ramadan) in an antiquities smuggling ring. Khouli is charged with conspiracy to smuggle, conspiracy to commit money laundering, smuggling as well as fraudulent importation and transportation (5 counts), and making false statements (2 counts).  Keep in mind that an indictment is simply a process that brings a person before the court. The government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt before a person may be found guilty.

Those familiar with the case know by now that Khouli is a New York based antiquities and ancient coin dealer. Because he faces more charges than the other named co-conspirators—-nine criminal counts—-and because federal prosecutors looked to Khouli to provide information two years ago, his case bears some examination.

The 17 page federal grand jury indictment recites that Khouli operated a business called Windsor Antiquities (sic), selling items both from his physical location in Manhattan and on the internet. He is alleged to have illegally imported antiquities and to have sold them to a collector whose home is in Virginia. From the available court documents, the specific item that appears to have begun the investigative probe in to Khouli’s activities is a Greco-Roman coffin.

The recently released indictment and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) press releases of July 14, 2011 describe that:

• Khouli sold Egyptian antiquities to Pharma Management Corp. CEO and Virginia collector Jospeh Lewis, II. The objects included the Greco-Roman coffin.

• Khouli bought the Egyptian antiquities from Michigan dealer Salem Alshdaifat of Holyland Numismatics and Dubai dealer Ayman Ramadan of Nafertiti (sic) Eastern Sculptures Trading.

• Around October 30, 2008 Khouli made a bank transfer of $10,000 into Ramadan’s bank account in Dubai. Then Ramadan had the Greco-Roman coffin shipped by air from the United Arab Emirates to JFK International Airport in New York, arriving on November 20, 2008.

• The Greco-Roman coffin was seized from Joseph Lewis’ home by federal agents on July 14, 2011.

• HSI special agents seized almost $80,000 and more than 200 smuggled antiquities from Khouli worth approximately $2.5 million. Other seizures from Khouli's store included a variety of antiquities and thousands of ancient coins valued at $1 million.

Additional unsealed court documents shed further light on the facts alleged in the indictment. Writing in a September 4, 2009 affidavit in support of Mousa Khouli’s arrest, an ICE special agent explained how, around November 2008, he discovered that a particular shipment entered JFK airport in New York. The Customs database told the agent that the shipment was described as “Wood Panels, Antiques of Age Exceeding One Hundred Years.” The database also listed the country of origin as the United Arab Emirates. The agent’s suspicions were aroused because "it is extremely unlikely that antique wood panels would originate in the UAE. The soil is almost entirely sandy . . . ,” he wrote.

Based on this information, the special agent met with Khouli on February 10, 2009. “Khouli then showed me five old, painted wood panels. I asked Khouli where the panels were from and he said they were Egyptian. When asked whether he had any merchandise originating in the UAE, Khouli responded that he sometimes imports from the UAE, but that the UAE is not the country of origin for any of his merchandise.”

Khouli signed a statement for the ICE agent that said that the wood panels did not originate from the UAE; they were imported from the UAE. The special agent noted in the affidavit that Khouli violated the law, particularly where fifteen of twenty imports over a five year period were claimed to have originated from the UAE. The ICE agent recited familiar cultural property law, specifically that the entry of cultural property in the United States in contravention of a foreign cultural patrimony law is punishable by the National Stolen Property Act, referencing United States v. Schultz. The agent also stated that lying about the country of origin on customs documents constitutes a material false statement in violation of the federal criminal code, citing United States v. An Antique Platter of Gold.

The court sealed the government’s affidavit and complaint because the case remained under investigation. Even after authorities arrested Khouli on September 8, 2009 the case remained under seal. Khouli apparently appeared for arraignment on October 22, 2009 as “John Doe” at the request of the US Attorney’s Office, according to now publicly available court documents.

The government charged Khouli in 2009 with smuggling cultural property into the United States. But federal prosecutors wanted Khouli as an informant. A previously sealed prosecution letter to the court dated October 19, 2009 explains: “Khouli has expressed an interest in cooperating proactively against others who deal in stolen cultural property . . . . These crimes are difficult to detect and prove because they are committed by falsifying importation documents and provenances. Khouli’s cooperation is therefore of great value to the government and will not only contribute to the investigation of others who smuggle and deal in stolen cultural property, but will enable the United States government to seize and repatriate stolen cultural property to the countries that own the property under applicable treaties and patrimony laws.”

The prosecution on December 16, 2009 moved to dismiss the criminal case against Khouli, perhaps for the purpose of utilizing Khouli as a cooperating witness but this information is unknown for certain. In May 2011, however, Khouli and the three co-defendants were indicted. The indictment remained under seal until last week. And on July 14, 2011, Khouli posted a $250,000 secured appearance bond.

According to the records of the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, Khouli’s business was actually known as Windsor Antiques, Inc. Created on September 28, 1995, the public records show that the business dissolved on December 27, 2010. Khouli was listed as the CEO, with an address in New York, NY and a principal office located in Brooklyn. A new company, Palmyra Heratige (sic), Inc., emerged on May 28, 2010 according to the corporation division’s records, listing an address located at the Manhattan Arts and Antiques Center. Khouli is associated with both Windsor Antiques and Palmyra Heratige (sic), Inc.

Although the Palmyra Heratige (sic) web site is down, a Yahoo! search revealed the following cached web autobiography as of July 11, 2011 (

“I am Morris Khouli. I moved to New York City in 1992 with my family and opened a gallery in New York City in 1995. My father had a gallery in Damascus for 35 Years, and he learned the business from my Grandfather who was in the business as well. I am the third generation in this business. Thanks to my dad, he taught me the business and I learned to love ancient coins and antiquities ever since I was a little boy.

Many collectors and dealers know me since I do a lot of shows in New York, California, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, and the ANA show, wherever it is since 1993. You may visit my gallery in the heart of Manhattan in the beautiful Manhattan Art and Antiques Center. We are open to the public Monday through Friday 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Located at 1050 Second Avenue between 55 and 56 streets Gallery Number 16 New York NY 10022 Tel 212-3191077 and fax 212-3191169.

We guarantee all of our items to be authentic and if for any reason you are not happy with the item, you can return it for a full refund. Try us--you will be happy.

Thank you,
Morris Khouli”

Palmyra Heratige (sic) apparently sold various types of antiquities. The Manhattan Art and Antique Center lists a web page for Palmyra Heritage at It displays two ancient coins, an Apulian amphora, a Roman bust, and an Illyrian bronze helmet.

As the case continues through the federal court system some important questions that perhaps may be answered include:

• how the Greco-Roman coffin was originally acquired and who facilitated its acquisition and transfer;

• who packed and transported the coffin to the UAE, how was it done, and which countries did the coffin pass through;

• which foreign government authorities failed to detect the movement of the coffin and why;

• how much money was paid for the coffin and how was the money transferred;

• whether the coffin was conserved or restored and who did the work if it was;

• how the coffin got from JFK airport to Lewis’ home, who packed it, and who transported it;

• why HSI waited two years to seize the Greco-Roman coffin (which is a good decision if it served to further HSI’s investigation, of course); and

• who are the unnamed co-conspirators in this case?

Antiquities Conspirators Charged

Saturday, July 16, 2011
This week federal authorities publicly released a sealed indictment charging four men with antiquities trafficking. A federal grand jury in New York alleges that an antiquities trafficking ring conspired to smuggle ancient artifacts from Egypt, engaging in money laundering and false statements in the process.

The multiple count indictment charges
• collector Joseph A. Lewis, II, president and CEO of Pharma Management Corp. in Virginia.
• Mousa Khouli of Windsor Antiquities in New York,
• Michigan coin dealer Salem Alshdaifat of Holyland Numismatics, and
• dealer Ayman Ramadan of Nefertiti Eastern Sculptures Trading from Dubai.

The indictment alleges, in part, that Lewis illicitly bought Egyptian antiquities, which were illegally imported into the United States through Dubai. The indictment also alleges that the four conspired together and with unidentified “others” in an antiquities smuggling operation.

ICE issued a July 14 press release stating that it "seized Egyptian antiquities to include but are not limited to a Greco-Roman style Egyptian sarcophagus, a unique three-part coffin set belonging to Shesepamuntayesher from the Saite period or 26th Dynasty, approximately 664-552 B.C. In addition to Egyptian antiquities, other Middle Eastern and Asian artifacts along with more than a thousand antique coins have been recovered.”

U.S customs agents executed a search warrant at Lewis' home on July 13 in Chesterfield, VA. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that they "recovered the Greco-Roman sarcophagus, the funerary boats and the limestone figures" there. The newspaper also reports that Lewis was convicted of illegal importation of wildlife in 1991, a charge plea bargained down from a felony to a misdemeanor. He reportedly served 30 days in home confinement, paid a $7500 fine, was placed on probation for 5 years, and was sentenced to perform community service

Ramadan remains a fugitive as of this writing.

Meanwhile, no indictments have been handed up thus far that involve the coins or Asian goods.

It should be noted that an indictment is not a finding of guilt.  A criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless the prosecution can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ya una Póliza Internacional le ampara en su pais…sin Pago de Deducible!
No solo como una Cobertura de Exceso, sino como la Póliza principal de Salud para Usted y su familia, ya que su póliza internacional le cubre en cualquier parte del mundo, además le cubre en su país de origen y cuando su poliza es utilizada en su país de residencia, el deducible es automáticamente eliminado, mayor información


Por que contratar un Seguro Internacional?
Tanto sus activos, sus reservas, oficinas, cantidad de personal, servicios al cliente, red de hospitales, médicos, etc. son de una proporción mucho mayor a la que usualmente conocemos en seguros locales
Debido al alto volumen de pólizas vigentes en todo el mundo, pueden ofrecer coberturas de millones de dólares a muy bajo costo
Por su solidez y reputación, permanentemente controladas, sus planes pueden ampararle en todo el mundo, sea China, Japón, Estados Unidos Australia o Argentina
Desde cualquier parte del mundo y en varios idiomas, puede comunicarse y ser atendido 24 horas, 7 días a la semana, por teléfono, internet e incluso en vivo online
Las compañías de seguros de Salud, pagan directamente a los médicos y hospitales en cualquier parte del mundo, no tiene Usted que pagar, visar en una Embajada, declarar y esperar un reembolso
Su familia con un beneficio de una póliza de vida o Usted con un beneficio de retiro en US Dólares, les pueden ser útil como dinero corriente en cualquier parte del mundo
A ninguna compañía internacional de seguros le convendría tratar de negar o retardar un pago sin fundamento, exponiéndose a una demanda legal y dañar su reputación a nivel mundial

me Me ME

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I couldn’t write. I was too agitated to write. Now for someone like me who seems to write principally to vent, agitation is a useful state. Sometimes it is the starting point. But I have been handcuffed for over a week.

“If Congress really wanted to balance the budget,” I heard an elderly man say. “They could stop spending our money on things like…” an elderly woman continued. Turning my attention to the television, I found a parade of senior citizens complaining about the federal government having the nerve to allocate funds for anything other than their health, welfare, and happiness. Some of the claims were bogus, some merely exaggerations. The total of all of the alleged expenditures wasn’t enough to change anything. The commercial, sponsored by AARP, was simply one more salvo in the ongoing budget debate.

We are all in agreement that sacrifices need to be made. We are waiting for YOU to make them.

The nursing homes in Ohio feel that they are entitled to a larger and larger share of the State of Ohio’s budget. Deliver Medicaid care at home? Unthinkable. Thus we are treated to aged, decrepit seniors crying into the camera. “Please don’t take my dignity,” said the 200 year old guy wearing the Veterans of Foreign War hat. Too late. That ship has already sailed.

I heard the familiar strains of You Only Hurt The One You Love. The television screen was filled with sick people. The American Hospital Association wants you to know that cuts in federal funding will have an immediate impact on the elderly, children and the disabled. And just in case you have the sound off, their ad concludes with the camera focusing on the unhappy child in a wheelchair.

We in Greater Cleveland know how the hospitals have been suffering. It has been almost a week since a new facility opened!

We are in year two of the President’s health care reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has succeeded in keeping a smattering of adult children on their parents’ policies. It has eliminated policies that covered only children. It has cost millions of dollars for compliance. But, the PPACA has not reformed health care.

You may not like insurance companies. Hell, I’m an insurance agent. There are lots of days that I don’t like insurance companies. But, you can’t reform health care without addressing the cost of medical care and how it is delivered. And no one is more change resistant than the medical industry when the subject is money.

Every time the government proposes a cut in the funding or even the growth of funding of medical care, we see more costs shifted to those who are covered by private insurance and the television commercials reappear. My goal is to eventually be one of those elderly actors. I bet AARP pays well.

We have yet to have a serious discussion. And it is hard to blame the doctors. Do you want to take a pay cut? Would you want to work more, see more patients, for the same money, or G-d forbid, less? Everyone involved, from the lab techs to the hospital administrators, has the same argument. And until anything happens, all of the participants are staking out their territory.

We are all in agreement that sacrifices need to be made. We are waiting for YOU to make them.

Somewhere there is someone reading this who is pounding the table and yelling, “Take the profit out of healthcare!” Balderdash. There is profit at every step. The doctors aren’t volunteers. The labs, the pharmacies, the drug companies, the equipment manufacturers, the company that cleans the linens, they all expect to be paid for their efforts and rewarded for their risks.

Of course, we could bring all of this under government control. Wouldn’t that solve everything? A recent Wall Street Journal article detailed the incredible cost (waste) when people are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is a federal program. Medicaid is controlled by the individual states with a partial reimbursement from Washington. There are 9.7 million patients covered by both systems. “Dual Eligibles” have disproportionately higher claims as they expose the inefficiencies of the two programs and their inability to effectively coordinate care. The examples in this article will give you pause.

The answer won’t be found in a scary commercial. Old veterans and disabled children are just stage props. We understand that there aren’t any 2011 Cadillacs waiting for us at the corner used car lot. At some point we have to decide what health care we really want and how much we can and will spend. Those tasks are still waiting for Congress, Republicans and Democrats, to tackle with the President. The business models will work themselves out, once those questions are answered.

And will someone please get the child actor in that wheelchair a teddy bear?