One thing some advocates and activists often have a hard time handling is advocating for him/herself. We devote so much of our time to others that we forget we have to LIVE AS WELL. So this blog is about me, Dr. Diana Beard-Williams, and the great injustice being visited upon me and my husband that could cause either of us our lives.
My husband retired under the CALPERS system many years ago through a serious disability. I too have been disabled and have faced cancer and other life threatening diseases. In fact, at this very moment I am battling a life threatening illness. Well, no one told my husband that at 65 years of age he had to be covered under PART B OF MEDICARE. I keep it real even about my own life so I share that on a fixed income we knew we had Kaiser so what did we need Part B for. For almost a year CALPERS never said a word to us about it and all of sudden, we are to loose our health insurance from March 1 – July 1, 2017 until his Medicare Part B kicks in.
What makes this even more offensive, insulting, and outrageous to me by CALPERS AND KAISER is that on my wall hangs a plague from KAISER thanking me for paving the way for Kaiser to open its facility at 47th and Avenue S in Palmdale, CA. I worked with top executives of Kaiser back in 1997 to have the ZONING CHANGED and for one year partnered with Dr. Wade Tadros of Kaiser to galvanize the community and politically change the minds of the Palmdale City Council to rezone the area. Today, because of that rezoning, it is a MAJOR COMMERCIAL CENTER at that street location. I WAS EVEN OFFERED $25,000 BACK THEN TO BE THE CONSULTANT BUT IT COULD NOT TAKE IT. I WAS WORKING FOR THE PALMDALE SCHOOL DISTRICT AS THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS. I asked Kaiser’s executives to donate the $25,000 to the Palmdale Education Foundation instead which they did.
My role was not simply pushing paper. I made sure that Kaiser’s top executives and Dr. Wade Tadros were introduced at all my public relations affairs including the honor of legendary coach John Wooden of UCLA. I invited them to black tie affairs I hosted and I gathered top leaders in the community to testify before the Palmdale City Council to push through the rezoning. I was a one woman buzz saw that was determined to bring a health facility like Kaiser to Palmdale, CA. As proof of my zest, commitment and zeal, I have a plague that thanks me for playing a major role in the rezoning, development, and implementation of a much needed KAISER FACILITY. And $25,000 was not the only amount of money KAISER HEADQUARTERS GAVE ME FOR THE FOUNDATION BECAUSE THEY WERE SO PLEASED.
So now I am sick, facing many life and death health issues along with my husband, and the same KAISER cannot carry us with payment for a few months to bridge a gap CALPERS SHOULD HAVE APPROPRIATELY INFORMED US OF. When they did inform us, they knew we could not meet the March 1, 2017 deadline so what should we do about insulin, and other life saving drugs and care we get? When does a corporate turn around and thank you for what you have done for them that certainly adds to their profitable bottom line?
Now if I were still active in politics or not a whistleblower I could probably make a call and everything would be bridged and handled. BUT WHAT THIS TEACHES ME AND THE REST OF AMERICA IS THAT IT IS ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE IN THE BANK AND WHO YOU KNOW. WHY SHOULD MY LIFE HAVE TO DEPEND ON ME CALLING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTACTS I HAVE IN THE CASE OF CALPERS or the big guys at Kaiser for my life to be cared for. I was there for KAISER. Why isn’t Kaiser who knows we face life threatening illnesses there for us when we are talking about four months? In 1997 I had something Kaiser wanted, today I am older and slowed down so what…..you cannot serve me Kaiser is saying so take a hike?