Letter to Executive Director Mark Miller

Dear Mr. Miller:

Is the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee’s (MedPAC) recent draft recommendation removing two classes of medication – antidepressants and immunosuppressants – from the Six Protected Classes under the Medicare Part D program?

Removing these two drug classes would violate the longstanding policy of ensuring that patients have access to the full range of life-saving and life-enhancing medications and restrict a physician’s ability to prescribe a regimen that is both effective and considerate of the challenges that co-morbidities and medication interactions can pose.

I urge you to reconsider removing both antidepressants and immunosuppressants from the Six Protected Classes, and to instead enshrine the protection of all six classes as a pillar of the Medicare program going forward. PROTECT the protected classes!

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Powers, AAS

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A Lack of Emotional Concern

No such thing as blissfully unaware!

Mercy & Grand

a·no·so·di·a·pho·ri·a

(ă-nō’sō-dī-ă-fōr’ē-ă), Indifference,real or assumed, to thepresence of disease,specifically of paralysis. [G.a-priv. + nosos,disease, + diaphora,difference]

I learned a new word today: anosodiaphoria. It is a medical term, not even in the Oxford English Dictionary, that means “indifference, real or assumed, to the presence of disease, specifically of paralysis.” It was coined by Joseph Babinski, discoverer of the famous Babinski, or plantar, reflex in which scraping the sole of the foot determines spinal cord damage. Babinski first noted anosodiaphoria in 1914 in a few paralyzed patients who were all “meh” about their paralysis. Another, more general definition describes anosodiaphoria as a “lack of emotional concern.” A recent medical paper on the subject is titled “Blissfully Unaware.”

My dad and I took my mom to the doctor today–specifically, to the neurologist to receive the results of her annual memory evaluation, an extensive battery of tests performed…

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Eight Questions

I will give my answers in this reblog. Stay tuned!

I was listening to the news when one of the Presidential candidates said something that really disappointed me.  I won’t say who it was or what was said, but it caused me to wonder about the mental health policy positions of our next President and prompted me to write each candidate asking the following questions.

 

#1 – How many persons who openly disclose having a disability are employed as part of your campaign team?  What is the nature of their responsibilities?

 

#2 – Do you support the issuance of an Executive Order, which violates the civil rights of persons with psychiatric disabilities, utilizing the Social Security Administration’s Representative Payee database to report the names of persons with psychiatric disabilities (who have requested assistance in managing their finances) into the National Instant Criminal Background Check system to prevent firearm purchases?  If elected President, what action would you take to modify…

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Body Bag Project: Mental Health Movement

 

An excellent write-up of the Mental Health Movement’s Body Bag’s Project is found at http://streetwise.org/2016/03/body-bags-project/!

Many people do not realize the need for public mental health safety nets to help persons with mental illness stay out of prison, stay out of nursing homes, become homeless and/or not suicide.

So far, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) dragged their feet since Obamacare came out and STILL has not contracted to any managed care organization. The Community Mental Health Advisory Board that consists of clinic users and shuttered users continues to ask the important safety net questions and advise the CPDH on proven effective methods for treating the pandemic spread of mental illness. The closed clinics need reopening because not all of the neediest areas are covered: there are only 5 clinics on Chicago’s south side and only 1 on Chicago’s north side. All of this while Cook County Jail teems with persons with serious mental illness.

Bodybag Flyer

Illinois Home Services Program Attempts to Cut Lifeline Services to Persons with Disabilities

Home-Care-WorkerAs an advocate concerned about the Home Services Program (HSP), I find capping IP services hours egregious! HSP, critically important to thousands of people with disabilities across the state of Illinois, ensures that everyday HSP customers receive care from their Individual Providers (IPs).
Capping the hours that IPs can work at 40 will mean that people with disabilities will not be able to access personal care assistance. In most places throughout Illinois, HSP consumers cannot find, hire and keep decent good IPs.
Parents, siblings and other relatives who act as IPs, with whom Illinois desires to cut work hours below 40 hours, jeopardizes financial and supportive IP, positive outcomes and quality of life. Until more effective policies emerge for persons with disabilities, this reduction of IP hours becomes cumbersome, undo-able and strict.
HSP customers and IPs deserve flexibility, not rigidity. Please eliminate the cap hours a week is too harsh and will put too many people’s lives at risk.
Photo from http://blog.abbeyspanier.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Home-Care-Worker.jpg

No Welcome Mat for Fascism: Stop Whining About Trump’s Right to “Free Speech”

As usual, Kelly, well stated!

Transformative Spaces

FB_IMG_1457891366279 A protester holds up a sign at Friday’s Trump rally in Chicago. (Photo: Aaron Cynic)

So Donald Trump discovered that he wasn’t welcome in Chicago, and some people have a lot of feelings about it. Some of those people hail from the most predictable of corners – Trump supporters, Fox News fans, my friend’s uncle who thinks protests are stupid and too damn loud, etc. Honestly, as someone who was out there protesting on Friday, I would think we’d done a poor job if these types weren’t displeased. I’m not writing these words because I want to respond to their critiques, because there’s no point in arguing with such people.

But the leftists who are shaming protesters?

Your behavior is a special kind of shameful, and you need to find some seats.

From Hillary Clinton to sanctimonious columnists, leftist equivocation in the face of fascism abounds. A full spectrum of people…

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Where is the community’s voice?

pOLICY cHOICESWhen can we have our say?

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