The Bureaucratic Nightmare of Hospital Billing

by James A. Bacon

It’s not easy going through life with Parkinson’s Disease, afflicted by tremors, stiffness, fumbling hands, and difficulty walking. Carrying on becomes a real challenge when you add debilitating rounds of chemotherapy. That’s the predicament my old friend Lisbeth finds herself in these days: fighting off two terrible diseases at once.

As you can imagine, the last thing Lisbeth needs as she’s trying to keep it all together is to get into a billing quarrel with her hospital. Most people in her condition would be too exhausted to study their hospital bills and spot the errors, much less to contend with an unresponsive hospital bureaucracy to get her money back. Most people would just let it slide. But Lisbeth isn’t like most people. She’s a crusader at heart, and her maladies have not conquered her spirit.

Lisbeth knows I blog about health care from time to time, and she approached me to tell her story. She laid copies of bills, correspondence and her  contemporaneous notes before me and walked me through her healthcare hell. Compared to tales of medical malpractice like amputating the wrong foot or contracting fatal infections in the hospital, this was tame stuff. What struck me, however, was that her complaints, though banal, are likely endemic in the healthcare system.

Several Virginia hospitals have been called on the carpet this year for how aggressively they file lawsuits to collect unpaid bills, and many have altered their practices. The flip side of patient nonpayment is hospital over-billing, a phenomenon that has gotten little public attention. There is a grotesque asymmetry at work. Hospitals have armies of administrators and phalanxes of lawyers to defend themselves against patients’ overbilling claims. Patients, many of whom are in physical or mental distress, fight their battles on their own.  I can’t remember the last time I read of a patient taking a hospital to court to collect on an over-charge.

Healthcare providers need to pay attention. If they want to know why a large percentage of Americans favor Medicare-for-All proposals that would bankrupt the country and destroy private-sector health care, one reason might be that so many have become embittered by routine interactions with the billing administrators of their health providers.

Lisbeth’s story. Lisbeth is not my friend’s real name, and, at her request, I have not identified the names of the hospital and health insurance company involved. In her vulnerable condition, she is terrified to do anything that might antagonize her health providers and disrupt the continuity of her care.

Last year, Lisbeth received a statement from Big Hospital, Inc., dated Nov. 5, 2018, informing her that she was overdue on a payment. Searching through her bank records, she found proof that she had paid the bill. On Nov. 26, she called the Big Hospital billing department and told an administrator that she had proof of payment. While on the phone, he browsed through her file and found the reason for the confusion: Her payment had been “re-allocated” to an earlier bill.

“My check went to pay another bill, leaving the bill I had paid marked as unpaid,” she explains. “I never received notice of this. And since I had the cashed check, I had no reason to think the bill hadn’t been paid. I had not received any notice or a second bill, only the letter from collections.”

Lisbeth then visited the Big Hospital billing office and asked to speak with a supervisor. She met with a woman who confirmed that the payment had been “re-allocated.” The woman candidly explained how the practice worked, as if there was nothing abnormal about it. It was only later that Lisbeth learned from a collection agency representing Big Hospital that Medicare strictly prohibited the re-allocation of payments to previous bills.

This year, Lisbeth received a letter from a collections agency dated June 19, 2019, stating that it represented Big Hospital, Inc. According to the letter, Big Hospital’s records indicated that she had a past due balance of $1,207.80 for a procedure dating back to March 31, 2018.

Despite undergoing chemotherapy at the time, Lisbeth dug up a check for the sum of $1,207.74 — six cents difference — to prove that she had paid the sum. The check, dated Aug. 23, 2018, was actually the correct amount. The six-cent error, she contends after matching it with the bill, was the hospital’s.

In another instance, she says, she received a $120 bill from Big Hospital. Her EOB, a statement of healthcare claims, said she owed nothing. Lisbeth called back the supervisor she’d talk to earlier. The supervisor asked for a copy of the EOB. She faxed the two pages that were germane. The supervisor said to send all 17 pages. Lisbeth asked her to call her insurance company for verification that she didn’t owe the money. The supervisor refused to do so. Lisbeth asked for documentation showing that she owed the $120. The supervisor refused on the grounds that the document containing the information included information from other patients, and releasing it would be a HIPAA violation. Lisbeth lost that round.

She also showed me copies of deposited checks for $42.70 each, issued ten days apart, showing that Big Hospital billed her twice for the same charge. Distracted by her illnesses, she did not notice the double-billing at the time and discovered it only when she began going back through her records.

In the end, Lisbeth appealed to the insurance company, which took care of all  issues. But the encounters with Big Hospital left her with bitter feelings and a sense that bureaucratic incompetence, over-charging, and intransigence are commonplace.

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24 responses to “The Bureaucratic Nightmare of Hospital Billing

  1. I too have a friend dealing with Parkinson’s but he’s got a wife who is tenacious and aggressive! STILL – it’s a struggle that consumes her because she’s also got to take care of him and coordinate his care.

    Just consider what happens to folks with Parkinson’s who do not have insurance.. or have “crap” insurance which is being advocated as a “solution” to those who cannot afford or get quality insurance.

    Imagine if insurance companies could deny coverage for “pre-existing” conditions or cancel you or cap your coverage if you got an expensive disease or condition. The Medical bills would simple bankrupt you. The hospital would be taking you to court to get your assets and home.

    This is why this is such a central issue in our elections. We all have friends like Lisbeth and we feel helpless when they get drawn into this hell. And we’re headed that way also in a few more years, right?

  2. This billing system is how the University of Virginia got most of its Strategic Investment (Research) Fund, ripped off monies that today are used to make its senior administrators, faculty, and its corporate allies even richer.

    • What is about to happen to them is….their….own….damn…..fault. Don’t expect sympathy from me. They are the best advocates for Medicare for All. I still recall being in the records room at the Roanoke City Courthouse and being stunned at all the deeds and liens in the name of Roanoke Memorial Hospital, creating poverty by the bushel forty years ago in the Star City.

      Larry is still trying to litigate the election, blaming this on those evil Republicans. Well, Larry, wasn’t Obamacare all about solving this problem? Why are we still talking about it? Even with great insurance, the patient gets caught between dueling greedy companies. Playing partisan games is not helpful. On behalf of Thomas Jefferson Institute heading to a conference in January on this and related issues and I’m sure Larry will hate everything I report back.

      • Oh, I’m NOT trying to litigate THE election but the approach to this problem over several elections………… who is trying to fix it and who is saying it’s a “free market” problem and government should not be involved?

  3. Sad. My Mom had Alzheimer’s and had to take a slew of meds at her assisted living place which wanted to shift pharmacies because they dispensed the meds in packages that were considered more convenient. I handle her financial stuff and bills. Her $150 bill with her supplement was about what we made monthly for meds. Next bill was $1,500. I called the new pharmacy. Did they bother running her meds through insurance? No? Well, no pay until you do, sucker! Imagine if she or another elderly person in her predicament got confused and paid the full bill?

  4. The health care industry overall is a showcase of willful business incompetence. Not medical incompetence but business incompetence. You hit the nail on the head when you said they have armies of administrators and lawyers (and in-house and contracted collection agencies) to hassle patients into submission. Undisciplined / negligent business processes generate erroneous bill which are then aggressively collected. Striving to achieve customer / patient satisfaction is not only irrelevant it is actively discouraged as an unnecessary expense. Meanwhile, the health care industry is in the midst of a major consolidation with CVS buying Aetna, Fairfax Inova buying up primary care practices, etc. Care to wager whether customer / patient service will improve under these new mega vertically integrated health care behemoths?

    I have two voodoo dolls (metaphorically speaking). One is labelled “socialist politicians” the other “health care industry”. Sometimes I sit for hours with a pin in my hand wondering which one to stick.

  5. When my mom was in a nursing home, my dad was doing it private pay. When they tried to charge a ridiculous sum for an inflatable mattress pad, he advised them he would just go buy one. They backed down immediately. Greedy is the only word….but had she been on Medicaid, I’m sure some level of rip off would have occurred.

    My own experiences have been with defined periods of illness or surgery and recovery, a burst of service and a couple of months of billing hassle. My deep sympathy to families dealing with chronic situations, constant hassles and surprises. That added layer of stress does not help with the recovery. I am not unsympathetic to the arguments for radical reform, just worried that as bad as it is, it could get worse.

    • The “book price” of stuff is based on what the hospital thinks is the amount that will be reimbursed from insurance which is probably 90% or more of payments. When someone is actually paying – they’ll adjust it bu those payment structures are a lot like Walmart that sells some items at a loss while making it up on other items at a fat profit.

  6. Yes and Sentara is one of the worst.

  7. I’m going to strike a note of dissent. Yes, the hospitals and medical facilities are aggressive in trying to collect bills. I have been on the short end of that stick myself. I had an aggressive bill collector call me 10 days after I received the bill. The bill had been paid but he had no record of it, etc. etc.

    What I don’t see here is any discussion of how the hospitals and medical facilities were placed in this position and why it might be better to eliminate all of the claptrap that now surrounds medical care. The amassing of claptrap did not happen overnight. Medicare has come to control what medical providers are paid to a very large extent, because as I understand it, Medicare sets the baseline for what is able to be charged, and insurance companies key off of it. Meanwhile, hospitals are required to treat anybody who comes in the door, whether they can pay or not. Illegal immigrants wind up getting free medical care in hospitals. I don’t know what percentage of those cases are never paid for, but I suspect it is rather large. Being that it’s difficult to fight City Hall, hospitals and medical facilities take the only route available to them in order to avoid displeasing results: they chase after those who might be able to pay.

    Part of the problem is medical insurance. What is not understood, or is willfully ignored, is that medical insurance is not insurance. Most real insurance is designed to cover large unexpected bills, like when my roof was trashed in a recent hailstorm. Medical insurance has evolved to where people expect their doctors visits for flu or a strained knee to be paid for. In other words, they expect their medical care to be essentially free. What they don’t understand is that there are merely taking money from one of their pockets and sticking it into the other pocket.

    Medical insurance was never intended to be such. It started as an “employee benefit” when the UAW could not get a raise for its autoworker members because of wage price controls during the second world war. The Big Three couldn’t give them a quarter raise,. but it was allowed under the law to come up with a “new benefit”, much like McDonald’s could not raise the price of the big Mac during Nixon’s wage price controls, so they created a “new product” known as the Quarter Pounder. It was a “new product”, even though it was just a reformulated Big Mac. The UAW benefit was promised to be minimal, sorta like the promise in 1913 that the income tax would only afffect a few wealthy people. And how did that turn out? When the government gets its hands into something, watch out! But I’m probably preaching to the choir on that point, except for Peter and Larry.

    So far, posters on this blog have mostly looked at the symptoms of a bad system; there doesn’t seem to be any consideration of a policy effort to eliminate ordinary health insurance in order to free the system to competition, so that good efficient providers would benefit, as would their patients. Small example: VCU’s appointment system sends me multiple text reminders of my appointment along with phone number, location etc. Ortho Virginia has no such system and I’ve missed at least three appointments because of time screw ups, doctor not available etc. I prefer the doctors at Ortho Virginia, but VCU makes it easy for me to get medical care and saves them lost appointment time. What would happen if the medical care industry responded to real competition instead of just trying to survive by reducing the number of missed appointments?

    • Crazy, you make excellent points. My post described symptoms of a dysfunctional health care system. We need to get to the root of the dysfunction. One prime driver in the billing issue, I would suggest, is the oligopolistic nature of the hospital industry. They treat customers shabbily because they can. They suffer no adverse consequences.

      • Yes, but you need to ask how the hospital industry got to be oligopolistic. I remember well when a couple of Chicago’s small hospitals closed in the 70s and 80s. One was near Cabrini Green and perforce became quite adept, as is MCV (spoiler alert?) at ER care for gunshot wounds. Of course,no one paid, and that workload collapsed the hospital, creating one less competitor. The story has been repeated several times in large cities

        Then again, think about the protected status that hospitals enjoy thanks to our benighted legislature, here and in many other states. I can’t compete with your hospital if I don’t have a certificate of need. As Larry would say, Geez, I wonder why it’s oligopolistic? Also if I’m going to compete with the government for my status, I better be as big as possible, so I better buy up as many hospitals as I can afford. I better buy up as many medical practices I can afford.

    • I consider health insurance providers part of the problem.

      As for hospitals – they seem to have plenty of money to buy other hospitals or primary care physicians’ practices but no money for more accurate billing systems or better customer care. A few do try. Cleveland Clinic is one. Their customer care is quite good.

  8. Another problem not mentioned in this post stream is the details of hospital bills. Usually, you get to see only the bottom line of what you owe. Even if you get some details, most people (including me) don’t know enough to question them. The wife of a friend of mine is a nurse. On the occasions when she or her family had hospital bills, she demanded to see the itemized list. On going over it, she would mark items: Didn’t get this; Didn’t get this; This not done; etc. The bills are so esoteric that they can be easily padded.

  9. This is by far one of the longest posts from Crazy that I have seen – and he makes excellent points that I’m in agreement with a lot.

    The basic thing to understand is that Insurance is paying the reimbursements – and they have to be able to keep more of your premiums that they spend, or they will go broke. Medicare is no
    different – they set the rates because they have a substantial slice of the business.

    Medical science has far outpaced “death” and can keep us alive when, in fact, we probably would be dead – the nursing homes are full of folks who have lost all quality of life and hang on to what’s left tenuously – and expensively -and most of them are not “paying” for it – their “insurance” is.

    Anyone who has had a major illness or cared for a relative who has or has ended their lives after some time of declining health and medical efforts to keep them alive – knows that the system we have is a convoluted rabbit warren that EVEN the folks who understand it, have trouble navigating at times – it can take them time JUST to find out what happened in a particular inquiry.

    You want simple – get universal health insurance. You want to not be jerked around by all the rules – pay your own costs and don’t rely on insurance. When you buy insurance – they decide what to pay and how much and the hospitals then decide how to adjust their billing to optimize how much they get reimbursed. Us folks with insurance are basically “out of the loop”.

  10. Here’s the deal with insurance. You’re buying it from someone else and in a true free market – they get to decide how much you get and how much it costs and if you have problems or are old – they typically would either refuse to sell it to you or charge a lot for it.

    That’s the way free-market insurance works.

    So when the insurance company cannot deny you outright or charge you more ( employer-provided insurance cannot charge more per person, everyone pays the same premium – it’s called community rating – at any rate – they handle the difference between premiums collected and payments by “reimbursement” to the provider. And that means someone has to pay the difference and so the hospital and providers try to figure out what else they can charge for to take in enough to pay THEIR bills.

    You and I – we’re LUCKY we can actually BUY the insurance but we are pawns in this reimbursement game.

  11. I suggest we here are missing the elephant in the room, a government sponsored bribery of the American Health care system that rips off the American people and their economy in gross amounts of money payoffs equal to the other great government sponsored money laundering operation called American Higher education. Both of these government sponsored rackets have been working in overdrive, sucking the life out of the American economy now, for a full decade.

    This is a one two punch into our collective American gut. America’s system of higher education force feeds our kids a rotten education full of pablum, ideology, and bad habits that hobble our kids futures. Meanwhile, America’s system of healthcare, among its many other sins, far too often, indeed typically, refuses to let our parents die until it has sucked the final remnants of life out of their bodies long after a decent, natural and respectful death, would allow.

    Why does this happen? Money, gross amounts of ill gotten money hospitals can now lawfully, however covertly and immorally, can charge patients, a corruption that the government under the Obama administration intentionally built into the system to covertly accomplish its political objectives, exploding the costs of American healthcare, while claiming falsely to be slashing healthcare costs. This was one of the two great lies of the 21th century, right up there with the second great lie that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

    Remember Hillary Clinton’s advice to Barack Obama that boiled down to this: “I failed to get government sponsored health through Congress in 1993 because I failed to bribe the health care industry.” Obama took Hilary’s advice. He bribed the American Healthcare system to pass Obamacare without a single Republican vote. This bribery setting up an opaque, covert system of arbitrage has driven healthcare cost through the roof, making fortunes for the very few who control and know how to milk the system at the expense of sick fellow Americans. The obscene ill-gotten gains by modern day robber barons are plain to see everywhere around us. UVA Strategic Investment “Research” Fund, for example. And its downstream corollary – The $10,000,000++ renovations to UVA president James Ryan’s house. Why? Money is fungible.

    Paradoxically, at least for the Democrats responsible for this bribery and its disastrous results, it is the Trump administration that now is taking decisive action to clean up this government sponsored extortion of the American people caught up in Obama’s corrupt health care systems. This according to today’s Nov. 16 /17 front page headline article “Hospitals Pressed to Reveal Pricing Secrets,” that announces “Administration plan is likely to reshape $3.5 trillion industry and face legal actions.

    The Wall Street Journals opening paragraph reads:

    “Hospitals and insurers would be forced to disclose their secret negotiated rates for the first time under a far reaching plan released Friday by the Trump Administration.”

  12. Here are a few snippets from today’s Wall Street Journal article titled “Hospitals Pressed to Reveal Pricing Secrets,” BY STEPHANIE ARMOUR

    “Hospitals and insurers would be forced to disclose their secret negotiated rates for the first time under a far-reaching plan released Friday by the Trump administration.”

    “Administration officials said the final rule will compel hospitals in 2021 to publicize the rates they negotiate with individual insurers for all services, including drugs, facility fees and care by doctors who work for the facility …”

    “The administration proposed extending the disclosure requirement to the $670 billion health-insurance industry. Insurance companies … would have to provide a transparency tool to give cost information to consumers in advance, senior administration officials said.

    The requirements are more far-reaching than many industry leaders had expected and could upend commercial health-care markets, which are rife with complex systems of hidden charges and secret dis-
    counts. …”

    “Right now, there is too much arbitrage in the system,” a senior administration official said in an interview Thursday with The Wall Street Journal. “There are a ton of vested interests who will oppose this. We expect to get sued. We’re really goring people’s oxes.”

    Hospitals and insurers typically treat specific prices for medical services as closely held secrets … Policy makers, employers and patients are often unable to see clearly which hospital systems and doctor practices are driving high costs …”

    “Studies show consumers are often required to pay more out of pocket when they don’t have the price information they need to comparison shop. Employer health-plan deductibles are outpacing wage growth and have risen to an average $1,655 for a single plan … Workers on average pay $6,015 toward the cost of their coverage.”

    “… the price-disclosure initiatives could reshape the $3.5 trillion healthcare industry. …

    “It’s actually worse than we expected,” said Tom Nickels, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association. “They have additional requirements. It’s additional data that I don’t know is particularly helpful for consumers.” …

    “You’ll see some results that are incredible in terms of costs coming down,” Mr. Trump said Friday, adding, “We’re taking on the insurance companies and the special interests.”

    For much more of this Wall Street Journal’s front page article see the WSJ’s Weekend Edition published today.

  13. On Nov. 2 of this year the Daily Progress reported:

    “The vigil at the McIntire Amphitheater is a tradition among UVa cadets, but this year it will exclude the traditional 21-gun salute usually performed by the color guard from local American Legion Post 74.

    “In consultation with Col. Michael Hough, the decision was made not to include the 21-gun salute at this year’s Veterans Day event in order to avoid class disruptions due to noise,” said Wes Hester, a UVa spokesman.

    UVa officials said the ceremony also will eschew amplified music to further minimize disruption to nearby classrooms.

    The changes do not detract from the solemnity of the ceremony, cadets say…” Quote from Daily Progress.

    Oh, really??? Apparently some people took offense at UVA Pres. Jim Ryan’s decision to delete the salute and the insulting rationale he gave for that deletion. On Nov. Ryan does an About Face on his Face book page found at: https://www.facebook.com/presjimryan/posts/.

    Jim Ryan says: “Sometimes you make mistakes. Although motivated by good intentions, I believe we made a mistake this year in excluding the 21-gun salute from our Veterans Day ceremony. Having attended the ceremony, and having consulted with the Commander in charge, I am confident that we can accommodate a 21-gun salute, which had been a meaningful feature of the ceremony in years past. We will therefore reinstate the 21-gun salute next year, and we will make sure to minimize any disruptions to classes and communicate the details of the ceremony in advance. Thanks to all who shared their views about this topic, and my sincere apologies to any who may have doubted our commitment to honoring our veterans, whom we hold in the highest esteem and who deserve our gratitude.”

    Here are the first set of comments in order of appearance on his Facebook page that seem remarkable similar in text, tone, and substance and often more about saluting President Jim Ryan’s great virtues as a courageous leader than about he sacrifice of those not honored this year by a 21 gun salute at UVA, namely the roughly 82,000 American Veterans killed in action from and after WW11 whose bodies were never recovered, and so never returned home.

    “… Thank you for recognizing that we can be cognizant of the current climate surrounding guns and the safety of students, but also protecting traditions provided by and in honor of service members trained to defend us.”

    “Thank you sir. Always two sides to consider and there are also so many ways to prepare the student body with the event.”

    “Thank you for reconsidering, President Ryan.”

    “Thank you. Please continue to look for ways to bring our veteran students into the mainstream of University life.”

    “Making mistakes is a common occurrence but being big enough to admit to it is very rare. You are such an inspirational President and I have the utmost respect for you! Never for a minute did I doubt your respect for our veterans.”

    “Thank you for your honest humility and willingness to change. You set a great example for the rest of us!”

    “Thank you for your thoughtfulness and humility! I’m glad my son is there! Takes a special person to admit mistakes.”

    “Thank You. As both a Combat Veteran, and a member of both the Class of ‘94 and ‘99, thank you for upholding the time honored recognition and respect that honors the brave Men and Women who gave their lives.”

    “I appreciate your candor and humility, sir! I pray that my alma mater will continue to prioritize honoring our service members and veterans in more ways than one. ”

    “Thank you for listening and thank you for changing your mind. It takes character to admit a mistake and reverse course. Not only have you made the right decision in my eyes but you’ve also set a great example about how to handle difficult situations with integrity and respect.”

    “Thank you for recognizing the importance of honoring veterans to those who are part of the university community. More importantly, thank you for acknowledging when mistakes are made and working to address …”

    “You are such a good leader! I love how open you are to different points of view and carefully consider decisions for the University. You have an empathetic heart.”

    This is a victory for our community and our veterans! Thank you for admitting to a mistake and making it right … A win for everyone.”

    “We all make mistakes, it’s how we handle them that truly defines us. I’m very happy that this was readily recognized and promptly rectified for next year.”

    “Thank you for apologizing and admitting that it was a mistake! …”

    “Thank you President Ryan! I fully support & respect you for making a reversal in this decision! Go HOOS!!”

    “Out (freakin) standing ~ you would of made one hell of a Marine ~ what you have just done is the very embodiment of Courage – “USMC Leadership Traits”.
    Semper Fi.”

    “This is a sign of a good leader! Someone who is willing to listen to all viewpoints. We need more of this!”

    “Thank you for your leadership! As a UVA AFROTC Det 890 grad, I appreciate your ability to admit mistakes and work towards a better solution. UVA is in great hands with your leadership!”

    “It is great when leadership can admit things could’ve been done differently. Something we dont always find in all our leaders. Thank you, President Ryan.”

    “Thank you President Ryan for showing the world how to graciously address a very delicate issue. I am thrilled to hear this news but I also respect you very much for your willingness to address the decision publicly. You are a credit to our university!”

    “Thank you for recognizing your mistake and promising to correct it.”

    “Thank you for the apology and reinstating the salute. It was a horrible and embarrassing decision for a school that is home to a strong ROTC program and counts so many students, alumni, and staff as veterans.”

    “Thank you for recognizing the importance of honoring veterans to those who are part of the university community and all veterans nation wide. More importantly, thank you for acknowledging when mistakes are made and letting everyone know that it is human to make mistakes but more importantly admit those mistakes publicly.”
    ….

    One wonders who curates Ryan’s facebook page. But then tone begins to change, as if Mao’s little Red Book approach to Public Relations was taken to be as shallow and self-serving as the original silencing of the military 21 gun salute.

  14. Now UVA President James Ryan’s apparently heavily curated Facebook site on his reconsideration of his refusal to salute Veterans, has crashed or been yanked off the air intentionally.

    As discussed in my comment above, the UVA President’s Facebook site appeared to revise his earlier refusals to cancel his order to delete for all time at UVA the traditional 21 gun salute to the sacrifice of those 82,000 American Veterans who were killed in action from and after WW11 and whose bodies were never recovered, and so never returned home.

    Earlier before this years Veterans Day, Ryan refused to reverse his order deleting the salutes. So they never occurred on this just past Veterans Day, because Ryan claimed on TV that, given todays gun violence in America, such salutes might panic those on Uva grounds (Uva students, faculty and administrators, presumably).

    In addition, Ryan also claimed that the noise from such a military salute would disturb classes of UVA students on the grounds, so must be eliminated forever on the Grounds.

    Now, however, after the uproar post Veterans Day, UVA President Ryan on his Facebook page says now he can “accommodate” the salutes during the future Veterans Days, after “we will make sure to minimize any disruptions to classes and communicate the details of the ceremony in advance.”

    This agreement to accommodate appearing on Ryan’s UVA Facebook website was then followed by a long list of comments that appeared to be curated so as to be devoted primarily to saluting UVA President James Ryan with such comments as:

    “Out (freakin) standing ~ you would of made one hell of a Marine ~ what you have just done is the very embodiment of Courage – “USMC Leadership Traits”.
    Semper Fi.”

    “Thank you for your leadership! As a UVA AFROTC Det 890 grad, I appreciate your ability to admit mistakes and work towards a better solution. UVA is in great hands with your leadership!”

    “Thank you for your honest humility and willingness to change. You set a great example for the rest of us!”

    “Thank you for your thoughtfulness and humility! I’m glad my son is there! Takes a special person to admit mistakes.”

    Again this is all about UVA’s President Ryan’s great virtue, with the dead America warriors killed in battle whose bodies were never recovered, playing fiddle to the great leadership displayed by James Ryan, as president of UVa.

    For more on Ryan’s remarkable and insistent refusal to honor the 82,000 Americans killed in action during and after WW11 whose bodies were never recovered, please see the video of that refusal found at:

    https://www.nbc29.com/story/41290220/uva-faces-backlash-for-removal-of-21gun-salute-from-veterans-day-ceremony

  15. Well, a new version of UVA president James Ryan’s website, erasing the damning evidence of his old website, popped back up this morning, covering all tracks. The little administrative mice must have scrabbled all night. It’d be a Peter Sellers comedy if not so sad. But for now we must move on. More about the Mouse that Roared in a few days.

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