Wednesday, March 7, 2012


IMPORTANT UPDATE!  OUR CAMPAIGNING WORKED!  I'll be mobile again in a month to 6 weeks!

Disclaimer: I misspoke in this episode.  I said unemployment was at a record low but meant to say record high.  I apologize. 

This episode focused on the current email campaign aimed at Medicare and the Health Transformation Office to use your tax dollars sensibly by providing me with an appropriate American made power wheelchair instead of using your tax dollars to buy me a foreign wheelchair that I can't use in my house.  Medicare is not Ohio's is EVERYONE'S money who pays taxes in the United States.

The reason one of our focus points is on the Health Transformation Office in Ohio is because their goal is to "streamline" Medicaid and Medicare.  This office is comprised of individuals from the state and federal levels of our government.

Direct your mail and emails to the following people:

Senator Rob Portman                                              Senator Sherrod Brown
37 West Broad Street                                              1301 East Ninth Street
Suite 300                                                                            Suite 1710
Columbus, OH 43215                                              Cleveland, OH 44114-1817
(800) 205-6446                                                             (888) 896-6446

Greg Moody, DirectorGovernor’s Office of Health Transformation

Eric PoklarDirector of Communications and Government Affairs

Monica JuengerDirector of Stakeholder Relations


(edit words in BOLD)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dear (insert name),

I am a tax-paying citizen of the United States.    I am also a tax-paying resident of Ohio.  This means that my money helps to fund Medicaid and Medicare, which both provide necessary healthcare for Americans who are low-income, disabled, and/or elderly.  Therefore, when I am aware of my money being spent irresponsibly and without forethought, it is my responsibility to speak up.

The specific situation I am writing to you about is regarding Jane Hash.   She is an exceptionally small statured adult woman with Osteogenesis Imperfecta who uses a power wheelchair for independent mobility.  She is a recipient of Medicaid and Medicare.  The Ohio Home Care Program, which is funded by Medicaid, spent thousands of dollars modifying her home last year so that she can carry out her Activities of Daily Living as independently as possible in her home.  This is an appropriate use of my tax dollars and prevents me from having to pay even more money for her to have institutionalized care, which in Ohio is currently running at a minimum cost of around $130 +/- per day of skilled nursing care.

A year ago Ms. Hash began the process of getting a new power wheelchair because her current wheelchair is old, in disrepair, and needs to be replaced.  Medicare has now rejected her request for an appropriate power wheelchair twice.  She is requesting a wheelchair that has comparable dimensions and features as her current wheelchair because that is what will work within her home (as modified by The Ohio Home Care Program precisely to fit her previously approved chair) to maintain maximum independence and it is what she is most comfortable in.

Medicare’s reason for rejecting her request for a new power wheelchair is because of the type of power wheelchair she is requesting.  Medicare recommends that she have a power wheelchair that is designed to facilitate a child who plays in wide-open spaces like a playground.  This power wheelchair would take away Ms. Hash’s independence because it is not an appropriate wheelchair for her environment that The Ohio Home Care Program helped her to create.  Purchasing a power wheelchair for her that she can’t use is not an appropriate use of my tax dollars and neither is unnecessarily remodeling her house every time she gets a new wheelchair.  This is not cost effective.

Furthermore, I have come to learn that, the inappropriate wheelchair that Medicare claims that Ms. Hash needs is manufactured by a company in Sweden and the wheelchair that she truly needs is manufactured in the United States.  I find this information unacceptable.  As a tax paying American I want my tax dollars to be spent in the United States.

On March 3, 2012 Ms. Hash’s power wheelchair stopped working.  She is now without independent mobility.  Please do what ever needs to be done in a speedy fashion to get Ms. Hash into an appropriate power wheelchair as soon as possible.


1 comment:

  1. I sent the letter above members of the Medicare and Medicaid Integration project, STAKEHOLDER ADVISORY GROUP: Here are the FEW responses I got:

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012 1:53 PM
    Ms. Hash:
    Thank you for taking the time to contact me about your situation. I am not sure whether you attended one of the consumer forums we held throughout the state, but there were a number of individuals who expressed serious concerns about the equipment, particularly wheelchairs that they were provided by either Medicare or Medicaid. I will add your comments to those that we have already received and make sure that they are kept in mind as this project moves ahead. I certainly hope that you are able to persuade Medicare that you require a wheelchair that meets your needs. I would be very interested in hearing how you fair in that regard.

    Harry W Saxe
    Mr. Saxe,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email however, your response is not exactly the kind of response I was hoping for.

    Considering you are the leader of the Medicare and Medicaid Integration project and represent the "STAKEHOLDER ADVISORY GROUP" I was hoping for some guidance regarding exactly where to focus my energy. Who or what department should I put pressure on and what can you do to help this situation?
    I did attend the forum that was held in Cleveland. I was the small, outspoken woman who the Medicaid representative requested to stay after the session was over so I could offer more input on the day's topics.
    I do hope to hear from you again soon.

    Jane Hash

    Monday, March 5, 2012 7:02 PM

    "Nickie Antonio"

    "Smith, Kelly"

    Dear Jane, I am sending this information on to my legislative aide- Kelly Smith to look into. I am so sorry for what sounds like an incredibly frustrating situation- which I know is an understatement. We'll see if there is any way we can support your efforts. Sincerely, Nickie Antonio

    Monday, March 5, 2012 9:00 PM
    "Nickie Antonio"
    Thank you very much. You are thus far the only person associated with the Governor's Health Transformation Office to respond to my situation.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012 3:13 PM
    "Smith, Kelly"
    "Oltman, Faith"
    Dear Jane,

    Thank you for providing this information. You are actually State Representative Kathleen Clyde’s constituent. Her Legislative Aide is Faith Oltman. She will take great care of your concern. She works right down the hall from me and I will make sure she gets your information and letter.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to you.


    Kelly Smith
    Legislative Aide
    Representative Nickie J. Antonio
    Address: 77 S. High St., 11th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-6111
    Wednesday, March 7, 2012 3:42 PM
    My reason for contacting Nickie Antonio's office is because she is listed on the Governor's Health Transformation Office's website as playing a role in the proposed Medicare/Medicaid Streamline project. Any help I can get on this issue is appreciated though.

    Thank you,

    Jane Hash

    Monday, March 5, 2012 6:32 PM
    "Senator Burke"
    I would like to thank you for contacting my office. I proudly represent the citizens of Ohio's 26th Senate district, comprised of Union, Logan, Marion, Wyandot, Crawford, and Sandusky counties, as well as western Seneca County and southern Ottawa County.
    Due to the large amount of electronic correspondence I receive on a daily basis, it is often not possible to answer each email individually, but citizens residing in the 26th Senate district will be given priority. Please be assured that every email is read and reviewed.
    Again, thank you for taking the time to write. I welcome your email.
    State Senator Dave Burke