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Re: Senator Dodd: Follow Up

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  • Kevin
    I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace Corps issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some of our concerns about
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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      I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace Corps
      issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some of
      our concerns about OWCP/Peace Corps.

      We are going to set up a phone call next week to discuss the matter in
      greater detail. I sent him a copy of the Gregg letter to give him some
      additional background. He is going to talk with his colleagues who
      deal with OWCP and ask them to join the conversation.

      I'll keep you informed. If there is anything specific that you'd like
      me to address during next week's phone call, please let me know asap.
      Also, if it turns out that a conference call is a possibility, would
      you like to be a part of it?

      Kevin

      --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin" <owcp2004@...> wrote:

      > In all fairness to Senator Chris Dodd and his staff, I received a
      > phone call and the following email from the Senator's Acting Chief of
      > Staff ...
    • Christine Link
      Hi, Kevin, Thanks for your email. An issue I d like to have raised is benefits for RPCV s who live overseas. I have access to American doctors (that s not the
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 3, 2007
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        Hi, Kevin,
        Thanks for your email.

        An issue I'd like to have raised is benefits for RPCV's who live overseas. I have access to American doctors (that's not the issue), but it looks like I may have to go back on an expensive medication for my arthritis. Normally in the US, I could get CVS to run it through workers comp directly so I never had to pay for any part of it, but that's not an option here in Germany. I also can't get it mail order as the medicine (a weekly injection) has to be refrigerated. I can't afford this medication (about $1400 per month). How am I supposed to get treated in this scenario?

        I'm not sure if this is the kind of issue you were requesting (please feel free to not use it if it doesn't fall into what you were going to discuss with Sen. Dodd's office--just thought I'd take a chance in case it did!).

        Cheers from Germany!

        Christine Link

        P.S. Also, when you get a chance, if you could send me the mailing addresses of your contacts (the IG, etc.) that you had sent phone numbers for earlier, that would be great.

        On Saturday, November 03, 2007, at 10:04AM, "Kevin" <owcp2004@...> wrote:
        >I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace Corps
        >issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some of
        >our concerns about OWCP/Peace Corps.
        >
        >We are going to set up a phone call next week to discuss the matter in
        >greater detail. I sent him a copy of the Gregg letter to give him some
        >additional background. He is going to talk with his colleagues who
        >deal with OWCP and ask them to join the conversation.
        >
        >I'll keep you informed. If there is anything specific that you'd like
        >me to address during next week's phone call, please let me know asap.
        >Also, if it turns out that a conference call is a possibility, would
        >you like to be a part of it?
        >
        >Kevin
        >
        >--- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin" <owcp2004@...> wrote:
        >
        >> In all fairness to Senator Chris Dodd and his staff, I received a
        >> phone call and the following email from the Senator's Acting Chief of
        >> Staff ...
        >
        >
      • Kevin
        Christine, I will forward a copy of your message to Josh Blumenfeld of Senator Chris Dodd s office prior to my phone conversation with Josh and his colleagues.
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 4, 2007
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          Christine,

          I will forward a copy of your message to Josh Blumenfeld of Senator
          Chris Dodd's office prior to my phone conversation with Josh and his
          colleagues. Your message will help to put a personal face on our
          struggles with OWCP. I think that's important whether or not this
          phone conversation turns out to be a forum for our individual issues.

          Kevin

          P.S. I've emailed you the mailing address for the PC Officials,
          together with some relevant email addresses and fax numbers. I hope
          they're helpful.

          --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Christine Link <clberna@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi, Kevin,
          > Thanks for your email.
          >
          > An issue I'd like to have raised is benefits for RPCV's who live
          overseas. I have access to American doctors (that's not the issue),
          but it looks like I may have to go back on an expensive medication
          for my arthritis. Normally in the US, I could get CVS to run it
          through workers comp directly so I never had to pay for any part of
          it, but that's not an option here in Germany. I also can't get it
          mail order as the medicine (a weekly injection) has to be
          refrigerated. I can't afford this medication (about $1400 per month).
          How am I supposed to get treated in this scenario?
          >
          > I'm not sure if this is the kind of issue you were requesting
          (please feel free to not use it if it doesn't fall into what you were
          going to discuss with Sen. Dodd's office--just thought I'd take a
          chance in case it did!).
          >
          > Cheers from Germany!
          >
          > Christine Link
          >
          > P.S. Also, when you get a chance, if you could send me the mailing
          addresses of your contacts (the IG, etc.) that you had sent phone
          numbers for earlier, that would be great.
        • Kevin
          I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld and two of his colleagues earlier today. They are going to make some inquiries on our behalf, starting with the offices of
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 7, 2007
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            I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld and two of his colleagues earlier
            today. They are going to make some inquiries on our behalf, starting
            with the offices of Senator Gregg and the Peace Corps Inspector
            General.

            What I need from YOU are copies of letters that you have received
            from Peace Corps or OWCP that demonstrate just how unhelpful those
            agencies are. For example, I'm going to submit to Senator Dodd's
            office a recent letter from Michelle K. Brooks, the Director of Peace
            Corps' Office of Congressional Relations, in which she states:

            " ... Given that Mr. Clark's claim is an accepted claim, the Peace
            Corps cannot provide any further assistance. At this point in the
            process, we can only recommend that he follow up directly with DOL."

            This is precisely the type of brush-off that members of our group
            have gotten from Peace Corps over and over again. (I realize that
            I'm preaching to the choir!)

            I am aware that you may possess letters that contain personal
            information that you don't want to release. If that's the case,
            please consider whether you could black out the personal information
            and leave the tone of the letter intact.

            Many thanks.

            Kevin
            owcp2004@...



            --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin" <owcp2004@...> wrote:
            >
            > I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace
            Corps
            > issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some
            of
            > our concerns about OWCP/Peace Corps...
          • Andrew Sterioff
            The staff of Senator Klobuchar, Greg and his assistant Sophia, who gave me his direct line to Senator Klobuchar s office are going to bring the RPCV OWCP issue
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 9, 2007
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              The staff of Senator Klobuchar, Greg and his assistant Sophia, who gave me his direct line to Senator Klobuchar's office are going to bring the RPCV OWCP issue up with Senator Klobuchar and see if she will meet with me.  I will let you know more when Greg calls me back later today.  If I get a meeting with the Senator I am going to need some statistics and documentation from our group.  Right now I have a number of 1300 who are registered, but that is just the tip of the iceberg according to a previous e-mail.  I will let you know more once Greg and Sophia call back later today.
               
              Andy Sterioff

              ----- Original Message ----
              From: Kevin <owcp2004@...>
              To: owcp@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, November 7, 2007 10:04:00 AM
              Subject: [owcp] Re: Senator Dodd: Follow Up

              I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld and two of his colleagues earlier
              today. They are going to make some inquiries on our behalf, starting
              with the offices of Senator Gregg and the Peace Corps Inspector
              General.

              What I need from YOU are copies of letters that you have received
              from Peace Corps or OWCP that demonstrate just how unhelpful those
              agencies are. For example, I'm going to submit to Senator Dodd's
              office a recent letter from Michelle K. Brooks, the Director of Peace
              Corps' Office of Congressional Relations, in which she states:

              " ... Given that Mr. Clark's claim is an accepted claim, the Peace
              Corps cannot provide any further assistance. At this point in the
              process, we can only recommend that he follow up directly with DOL."

              This is precisely the type of brush-off that members of our group
              have gotten from Peace Corps over and over again. (I realize that
              I'm preaching to the choir!)

              I am aware that you may possess letters that contain personal
              information that you don't want to release. If that's the case,
              please consider whether you could black out the personal information
              and leave the tone of the letter intact.

              Many thanks.

              Kevin
              owcp2004@yahoo. com

              --- In owcp@yahoogroups. com, "Kevin" <owcp2004@yahoo. com> wrote:
              >
              > I spoke with Josh Blumenfeld, the staffer who deals with Peace
              Corps
              > issues, late yesterday afternoon. I gave him an overview of some
              of
              > our concerns about OWCP/Peace Corps...



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            • Kevin
              Andy, 1300 is the approximate number of open FECA claims that Peace Corps had as of March 2007. OIG reported that statistic to Congress, so I suspect it s a
              Message 6 of 11 , Nov 12, 2007
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                Andy,

                1300 is the approximate number of open FECA claims that Peace Corps had
                as of March 2007. OIG reported that statistic to Congress, so I
                suspect it's a very good estimate.

                Do you know what statistics you are looking for? If so, please send me
                an email and I'll try to point you in the right direction.

                Kevin

                --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Sterioff <apsterioff@...> wrote:
                >
                > The staff of Senator Klobuchar, Greg and his assistant Sophia, who
                gave me his direct line to Senator Klobuchar's office are going to
                bring the RPCV OWCP issue up with Senator Klobuchar and see if she will
                meet with me. I will let you know more when Greg calls me back later
                today. If I get a meeting with the Senator I am going to need some
                statistics and documentation from our group. Right now I have a number
                of 1300 who are registered, but that is just the tip of the iceberg
                according to a previous e-mail. I will let you know more once Greg and
                Sophia call back later today.
                >
                > Andy Sterioff
              • Andrew Sterioff
                I thought we might be able to tell them the lengths of time some of these claims have been open. I think that would show how slow the process is, but it sounds
                Message 7 of 11 , Nov 12, 2007
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                  I thought we might be able to tell them the lengths of time some of these claims have been open. I think that would show how slow the process is, but it sounds like those statistics are unavailable.  In any case, I gave Greg in Senator Klobuchar's office our group web address so he can see what we are talking about.  He said he would take a look and would let the Senator know of our issue.  He also said that as long as the Department of Labor was helping, then that was quicker than trying to get a meeting with the Senator who might or might not be able to immediately help.  He said his line was always open to me if I didn't get far with the Department of Labor and my current Worker's Compensation claim.
                   
                  Andy Sterioff

                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: Kevin <owcp2004@...>
                  To: owcp@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 7:23:58 AM
                  Subject: [owcp] Re: Senator Klobuchar: Follow Up

                  Andy,

                  1300 is the approximate number of open FECA claims that Peace Corps had
                  as of March 2007. OIG reported that statistic to Congress, so I
                  suspect it's a very good estimate.

                  Do you know what statistics you are looking for? If so, please send me
                  an email and I'll try to point you in the right direction.

                  Kevin

                  --- In owcp@yahoogroups. com, Andrew Sterioff <apsterioff@ ...> wrote:
                  >
                  > The staff of Senator Klobuchar, Greg and his assistant Sophia, who
                  gave me his direct line to Senator Klobuchar's office are going to
                  bring the RPCV OWCP issue up with Senator Klobuchar and see if she will
                  meet with me. I will let you know more when Greg calls me back later
                  today. If I get a meeting with the Senator I am going to need some
                  statistics and documentation from our group. Right now I have a number
                  of 1300 who are registered, but that is just the tip of the iceberg
                  according to a previous e-mail. I will let you know more once Greg and
                  Sophia call back later today.
                  >
                  > Andy Sterioff



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                • Kevin
                  Hi Andy, I m afraid that statistics are going to be difficult to come by. The Peace Corps Office of Medical Services, the OIGs of Peace Corps and Labor, and
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 13, 2007
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                    Hi Andy,

                    I'm afraid that statistics are going to be difficult to come by. The
                    Peace Corps Office of Medical Services, the OIGs of Peace Corps and
                    Labor, and OWCP may all have relevant data, but located these data
                    and getting the agencies to part with them would be a major
                    undertaking. Since some of the statitics would be unflattering,
                    Peace Corps and OWCP would have a variety of reasons, including
                    political ones, to keep the statistics out of the public eye.

                    I'm not sure that the length of time that a claim has been open
                    necessarily means much. (The length of time that a claim has been
                    open and receiving inadequate attention is another matter!) I'd like
                    to see statistics such as: 1. Average length of time that it takes
                    to process a bill; 2. Accuracy in processing bills; 3. Average length
                    of time that it takes to authorize or reauthorize medical procedures;
                    4. Percentage of telephone calls and letters that are responded to in
                    the promised amount of time ... I could go on and on.

                    The lack of good data points to the need for a GAO study like the one
                    we asked Senator Gregg (and other Members of Congress) to pursue.

                    Kevin


                    --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Sterioff <apsterioff@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I thought we might be able to tell them the lengths of time some of
                    these claims have been open. I think that would show how slow the
                    process is, but it sounds like those statistics are unavailable. In
                    any case, I gave Greg in Senator Klobuchar's office our group web
                    address so he can see what we are talking about. He said he would
                    take a look and would let the Senator know of our issue. He also
                    said that as long as the Department of Labor was helping, then that
                    was quicker than trying to get a meeting with the Senator who might
                    or might not be able to immediately help. He said his line was
                    always open to me if I didn't get far with the Department of Labor
                    and my current Worker's Compensation claim.
                    >
                    > Andy Sterioff
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