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Fed up state rep goes around Dorchester, Mattapan, tearing down those 'Cash for diabetic supplies' signs

The Dorchester Reporter talks to state Rep. Russell Holmes (6th Suffolk) about how he now drives around the two neighborhoods former BPD captain Haseeb Hosein and wire cutters to take down the signs offering cash for diabetics' test kits and other supplies.

"They are absolutely preying on our communities and on Black people in particular," said Holmes.

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Comments

I see them all over HP

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State Rep. Rob Consalvo.

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In Lower Mills.

Those bastids. Preying on those poor Lower Millians.

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I'm guessing that people who have private insurance or medicaid get those test strips inexpensively. If they are then selling them, it's really screwing the insurance providers and putting money in the pockets of the sellers. Not exactly hurting the people he's trying to "protect" even though I don't disagree with the idea of ripping down the signs.

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2 points:
1. We are all taxpayers and insurance rate payers, we SHOULD be mad when people try to exploit the system by creating a financial incentive to get extra test strips or not use the ones you have, potentially exacerbating diabetes and landing in the ER. WE pay for all of that. So yeah, not a partisan issue here, merely good fiscal responsibility.

2. These adds are on public property, sidewalks, street lights, median strips, etc. so hell yeah, take 'em down,

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Is the fact that it’s offering financial incentive for people to stop caring appropriately for their serious health needs.

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Not really... if your healthcare plan covers diabetic supplies, they'll send you the same amount of supplies whether you're type A and need a dozen strips/lancets a day, or you're barely type B and need only a couple a day. Those are the people being targeted by these ads.

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As someone with Type B diabetes I am only covered by Medicare for 1 test strip per day.

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That’s not at all how it works.

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A Democrat who hates free markets and believes that his constituents can't think for themselves? You don't say.

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Please.

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Pound sand. Merry Christmas!

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Please, Will, go away on this one

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But rarely post:

I appreciate Will’s commentary. Commentary on this site wouldn’t BE without characters.

$20 to Adam’s UniversalHub. I encourage us all to give.

Thanks,
0.5 comments per year, but daily reader,
WhatTheBins

Edit: I should make this comment more visible. I’ll post this to the next thread as a first comment and give another $20.

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Commentary on this site wouldn’t BE without characters.

That's not what a "character" is.

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You are so droll in your commentary that I think you are really a bot program left over from a 1992 programing exercise at a high school.

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I don’t understand. I suppose I should have said “humans” or “commentators,” but “commentators” would have been redundant.

Edit: I appreciate your commentary. too, lbb. Discourse is mettle. $20 to Adam.

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All those communitarian sentiments give them heartburn.

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Good try

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True Libertarians detest Santa Claus. Greedy children asking for material goods, having performed no labor?? Real American children make their own toys, directly after pulling themselves up by the bootstraps.

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Santa does bear an unsettling resemblance to Karl Marx. And the thought of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao as elves is pretty creepy.

Maybe they would make better reindeer. On Lenin! On Stalin! On Trotsky and Mao! On Engels and Gramsci! etc. etc.

This is promising, but increasingly difficult. You try finding a rhyme for Rosa Luxemburg.

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Are these buyers paying for the space on the the public property sign posts where their signs were hung? Are the test kits patented intellectual property that can only be produced by a monopoly or a corporation that pays a licensing fee? Was the original purchase of these test kits subsidized by government programs like Medicare? Or perhaps they were purchased using private insurance that colludes with the manufacturers to “negotiate” fixed prices?

Which part is the “free market” part?

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The black market is the result of a collision between a free market and a highly regulated market.

(obligatory rant over "black market" being racist)

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so anyone can remove them. What's considered tolerable for advertising a lost cat or a yard sale is no longer OK if you are running a predatory commercial enterprise.

There's a Suboxone sign a few blocks from me that I've been meaning to take down.

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If these were Wu or Pressley signs you would be complaining about the white supremacists' totalitarianism on display in our communities of color.

You only care because you don't like these signs.

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should also be removed.

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Ron mentioned neither politics nor white supremacy but for some reason you felt the need to defensively pivot to both.

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so sorry i missed this self-own

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These signs have appeared all over Chelsea. Nice to know someone else hates them as much as I do, and I will probably be out with wire cutters doing the same now.

They started appearing about 2 years ago, and I did some research on them.

It feels like a scam but there's nothing really illegal about it (except the signs)
I agree with the state rep and it's preying on black and brown communities. (like a lot of this crap.. we're a target for it like home flipper companies)

What else? I think this is not geared for people who have private insurance, but people who get Mass Health / Medicare / Medicaid. Those programs have specific quantities for diabetic supplies, and its far more than you'll ever need.

So what this is doing is preying on low income people who want some quick quick cash. You didn't pay for the supplies, so its not hard to resell them for a few bucks. Especially when you don't have much to begin with.

The one thing this article does mention is that I could not figure out is what happens to them. I've never seen 'big sales' for this, or weird people trying to sell this to random people... they say they donate them which is a big crock of sh*t. Since they only want unopened ones, I can only believe these are being sold online or in bodegas where owners don't care where products come from.

Now its not illegal but if they are preying on MassHealth / Medicare recipients, that could be enough to shut them down. These types of scams have happened before and are shut down.

FWIW IMHO I think it should be illegal to do this and resell medical supplies if you aren't a pharmacy or drug store. (if products can be bought there). Sadly this will hurt the sellers too, but you shouldn't be selling your state provide healthcare's medical devices for some quick cash.

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Way back when I was on a family vacation and one of my children had some breathing/asthma issues so we went to a local hospital who then directed us to a medical supply store where we were given a nebulizer and equipment (mostly paid for by insurance I believe). When we were done we asked if we needed to return the machine and were simply told to keep it and they wouldn't or couldn't take it back. We had one had home and didn't need the extra machine, so just kept it and I don't remember what we did with it (may have donated it I don't remember).

Anyway it made me think that there is probably a market for medical supplies for people like me and my situation (not the same as diabetics who need supplies don't get me wrong). I assume the company who sold me the machine just gets a new one and insurance pays them on the back end for a new one? A quick glance online looks like machines like this are about $75 as a kit, so I assume it HAS to be worth something to someone.

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for years now. Their budgets seem to be going up... originally it was fliers taped to telephone poles, and then it gradually turned into laminated signs and then heavy-duty yard signs.

It's probably not illegal, but there's a reason those signs have a phone number but not a business name. They're encouraging Medicare/Medicaid fraud--I bet if you read your policy real closely, you'll find something in there about not being allowed to resell or give away supplies received under your coverage. Diabetic testing supplies are in one of the weirder categories in the already-extremely-weird American healthcare system, in that you don't need a prescription for them, but you need a prescription to get your insurance to pay for them. I would imagine that puts them under the same regulatory oversight as any other prescription fraud, if someone cared enough to prosecute. I'm glad someone's publicly doing something about these ads, if only to draw attention to them.

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I honestly don't know, but it's been a curiosity for me.

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We routinely get a rash of them in Fields Corner as well. I have salvaged a handful for the material but have yet to find a good use for them.

I remember looking up the test strip black market a while ago and found this informative story in the NYT.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/health/diabetes-test-strips-resale.html.

Bonus tip; the corrugated plastic signs are usually attached with a heavy duty (and pricey) zip tie. If you are cheapskate like me, you can salvage the zip tie by carefully pushing back the little tab that allows the band to ratchet in with the tip of a knife blade. If done well, the band will slip back easily and you get a perfectly reusable zip tie.

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just like the political yard signs. I've seen any number of DIY projects that specifically call for corrugated plastic.

The zip tie trick mostly works, but it can be hard to lift the tab without damaging it by bending it too far. Depends on the brand, probably.

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But they specifically said when someone passes and leaves behind testing strips and other medical supplies they will buy them.

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