Letter to the Editor

Base decision on medical need

Thursday, March 4, 2004

To the editor:

I had to respond regarding Medicare not approving electric wheelchairs unless the individual is permanently confined to a wheelchair.

Although unscrupulous medical equipment suppliers may defraud the government by submitting unnecessary applications for electric wheelchairs, a reputable medical equipment provider will ask the person with a disability to secure a prescription from a doctor confirming the necessity of an electric wheelchair. Most physicians will not prescribe one if it isn't a medical necessity for their patients.

With a financially oppressed economy, I don't feel the answer is lobbying for more money from the government. The increased supply and demand by an aging population with disabilities will always exceed the government's ability to financially comply. When people don't do what they know they should do, the government steps in to legislate their conscience at a cost to everyone. Long-standing medical research and development patents artificially keep the cost of medicines and technology high, much beyond the life of the product. If industry and government resource providers would work with clients and their doctors, the cost of independence would not have to be so selective or come with such a high price tag.


SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence

Cape Girardeau