From: Columbus, Cherokee County
Impact of Budget Cuts: Loss of HCBS Services/Raised Eligibility
Senator: Jim Barone (13th) or Dwayne Umbarger (14th)
Representative: Doug Gatewood (1st)
I am a thirty-nine year old man living with my wife and two children ages 13 and 9. My wife is a part-time teacher's aide at the local high school. I was working up until October 15th as the "Reg. Director of Oxford Health Care" out of Joplin, Missouri. I have also worked as a Case Manager for Vencore Hospital - Long Term Ventilator Hospital. When Vencore went bankrupt I started working at Vancare as a Nursing Home Consultant.
In the last year, I have stayed in the hospital ten times and seven of those have been in ICU. I was told I had asthma, but was later diagnosed with Pan Brocule Malasia. I have had to travel to Denver, Colorado to the Jewish Hospital to see doctors. In December I was given a ticket for my plane fare, so I could go. Because of my diagnosis, I am on oxygen 24 hours a day. I have to use a cane to walk any distance, and I cannot do a lot of things I used to. I can no longer play with my children, I cannot work, and my wife must do things around the home I use to do, such as mowing the lawn. I can no longer drive and I have blackouts.
My SSDI does not start until June 2003 and without HCBS my wife will have to quit her job to stay at home with me. Because I cannot work, I was let go from my job because of my disability. We have lost our truck due to repossession and had to borrow money for health insurance and for our home, so it did not get repossessed. I filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approximately the week of October 20, 2002, but I have not heard back from them.
With the budget cuts I am no longer qualified for HCBS. Without these essential services my family will either lose its only source of income or I will be forced into a nursing home. Forcing me into a nursing home is against the Olmstead Act.
Give me the freedom to choose where and how I want to live with the money that is available.