[Education and Welfare] Fw: cuts for the Blind/Medicaid
maryleep at att.net
Wed Mar 21 21:51:12 CDT 2012
Well so far he did not call me back but I am sure he has seen the ads.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Gray" <chris at moblind.org>
To: "Education and Welfare" <ew at moblind.org>
Cc: "mo chat list serve" <Chat at moblind.org>; "scccb mailing list"
<scccb at moblind.org>; "MO List Serve" <missouri-l at moblind.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: [Education and Welfare] Fw: cuts for the Blind/Medicaid
> Hey Mary:
> Ask him if he's heard our nice ad on the radio yet <smile>.
> It's really kind of sad; maybe he doesn't know it, but his attitude is
> very anti-blind. He has no understanding of our disability whatsoever and
> it shows in his note.
> On Wed, 21 Mar 2012, Mary Pendleton wrote:
>> I do agree with Chris but I did call Rep Silvey's office just now . I
>> told him heneeds to get all of his facts straight when he responds to
>> someone. For instance, He stated that many blind persons wdo not qualify
>> for Social Security Disability according to federal guidelines. Flanagan
>> is in his office right now and they are going to discuss this and call me
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Anne Murphy
>> To: Education and Welfare Legislative mailing list
>> Cc: mo chat list serve ; scccb mailing list ; MO List Serve
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 11:47 AM
>> Subject: [Education and Welfare] Fw: cuts for the Blind/Medicaid
>> This is what he wrote in response to my email to him.
>> Tell me what to say back.
>> I want to cry.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Ryan Silvey
>> To: Anne Murphy
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:56 AM
>> Subject: Re: cuts for the Blind/Medicaid
>> Dear Ms. Murphy,
>> Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding this issue. Please
>> know that this decision is not made lightly, nor is it meant to be in any
>> way "mean-spirited." I certainly don't hold any hostility toward anyone
>> with a disability, blind or otherwise, and do not in any way minimize the
>> struggles they deal with on a daily basis.
>> I believe there are many misconceptions around this issue due to the
>> oversimplified reporting of it and now the politicizing of this issue by
>> the Governor and certain special interest groups. According members of
>> the Missouri Federation for the Blind that I have spoken with,
>> approximately 1% of the population is totally blind. Missouri has over 6
>> million people, therefore there are approximately 60,000 totally blind
>> individuals in the state of Missouri. The program under discussion deals
>> with approximately 2,800 of these individuals, or less than 5%, that have
>> an income and whose income is too high for them to qualify for Medicaid.
>> These 2,800 individuals are costing the taxpayers of the state of
>> Missouri almost $30 Million per year.
>> According to the statistics, over 57,000 blind individuals will not be
>> affected at all by the elimination of this program and those that would
>> be affected are, financially speaking, not the most vulnerable. In fact,
>> according to federal guidelines, they don't even qualify as disabled for
>> Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI.
>> We "means test" Medicaid programs for a reason. "Means testing" is
>> placing income guidelines on a program to ensure that we are truly taking
>> care of those individuals that have no other option. If someone is
>> paraplegic and makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid, the state
>> does not pay for their medical bills. Similarly, if someone is deaf, or
>> autistic, or quadriplegic and their income exceeds the Medicaid
>> requirements, the state does not pay for their medical bills. In fact,
>> the only disability that receives this subsidy, regardless of their
>> income, is blindness.
>> In addition to making an income and having the state pay for all of
>> their medical bills, these individuals also receive a payment from the
>> state of over $700 per month known as the Blind Pension. This is also
>> unique in the disability community and will still continue if the
>> proposed elimination of medical coverage goes forward. In other words,
>> these individuals would make an income in excess of Medicaid requirements
>> and have a $700 per month stipend from the state that could be used to
>> help secure medical coverage from another source.
>> Believe me, nobody likes to be the one recommending a decrease in
>> services for anyone with a disability. However, given the current fiscal
>> situation of the state facing a $500 Million deficit, and the Governor's
>> continued recommendations for cuts in education, I am absolutely
>> confident that if this program did not currently exist and someone
>> proposed creating it, there is no way it would be created at this time.
>> Due to the inequity of providing so much assistance for such a small
>> percentage of one particular disability, to the exclusion of all other
>> disabilities, and the enormous cost of about $30 Million annually, it is
>> difficult to justify continuing this subsidy.
>> Emotionally, we would all like to be able to provide more for those who
>> are disabled. Realistically, I believe it is unsustainable to continue
>> doing so for a population whose income exceeds the Medicaid eligibility
>> for anyone else who is disabled.
>> While you may still continue to disagree with me, I hope you will at
>> least be able to see that there are logical reasons behind the decision
>> and not just "mean-spirited" efforts at cost cutting.
>> Thanks again for contacting me with your views.
>> Ryan Silvey
>> State Representative
>> District 38
>> Chairman, House Budget Committee
>> On Mar 21, 2012, at 10:04 AM, Anne Murphy wrote:
>> I am now 48 years old and began losing my vision at age 35 slowly.
>> I attended Rockhurst University as a sighted student and have many
>> family and friends in the KC area. I call KC my second home
>> Your attempts to cut aid to the Blind/Medicaid is not thought of
>> highly by my family and you will lose votes for this.
>> They know my struggles as a blind person and my expenses and health
>> care expenses.
>> I urge you to reconsider your opinion on this matter.
>> My KC family and friends will not vote for you again if you do not.
>> Anne Murphy
>> St. Louis, MO
>> EW mailing list
>> EW at moblind.org
> Christopher Gray, Executive Director
> Missouri Council of the Blind
> 5453 Chippewa
> St. Louis, MO 63109
> Phone: (314) 832-7172
> Toll-free: (800) 342-5632
> Fax: (314) 832-7796
> EW mailing list
> EW at moblind.org
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