On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!


Via Susie, CBS is reporting that the Feds have raided The Scooter Store.

My Mother likes old TV westerns, like Gunsmoke and Bonanza, so she often has a channel called TVLand on her set when I stop by. I called the channel Medicare TV because all of the ads seemed to be related to things for people on Medicare.

One of the most annoying advertisers is The Scooter Store which sells motorized wheelchairs, telling people that the equipment will be paid for by Medicare and Medigap insurance companies ‘at no cost to you’. My gut reaction to the ads was this is a scam, and I have been vocal enough about it, that my Mother mutes the TV when one of the ads comes on so she doesn’t have to listen to me rant about it.

At the direction of Congress, Medicare is restrained from providing necessary medical equipment in anything approaching an efficient manner. Most of the time they are required to lease equipment from private companies when it would be cheaper for the government to just buy it in bulk and issue it as required.

Before this case is over, I expect to hear that The Scooter Store defrauded Medicare out of millions of dollars, at a minimum. I hope they haul in some of the doctors who wrote unjustified prescriptions for people who should have been walking for exercise, instead of sitting down all the time.


1 Steve Bates { 02.24.13 at 11:21 am }

          Insanity Goes in Cycles

Take my wheelchair, take my cane,
Take my walker, take my brain;
Take my kitty; take my hound, but
Don’t you take my Hoveround!
  Hoveround, oh Hoveround;
  Don’t you take my Hoveround!

Take my doctor; take my nurse;
Grab a phone and call a hearse;
Plant me when I make no sound, but
Don’t you take my Hoveround!
  Hoveround, oh Hoveround;
  Don’t you take my Hoveround!

Ever since I was a kid,
Wanted one (I really did),
Bestest toy I ever found… just
Don’t you take my Hoveround!
  Hoveround, oh Hoveround;
  Don’t you take my Hoveround!

I’m the bane of dog and cat,
Round the corner, we go *splat*!
Threat to Granny, robed or gowned…
Hands off, Bub, MY Hoveround!
  Hoveround, oh Hoveround;
  Don’t you touch my Hoveround!

Pay for it with Medicare;
Give the tax-man quite a scare.
Claim exemptions without bound…
You’ll pay zip for Hoveround!
  Hoveround, oh Hoveround;
  Free to you, your Hoveround!

Someday, when I’m in my grave,
Maybe I’ll at last behave.
‘Til that day, my pitch I’ll pound:
Give me… FREE… my Hoveround!
  Hoveround, oh Hoveround;
  Give me my free Hoveround!

– SB the YDS

(I think this needs a few more stanzas… %-}> )

2 Badtux { 02.24.13 at 1:00 pm }

Okay, when you are producing doggerel of this verbosity you are quite clearly feeling better, Steve :). Happy to hear it!

3 Bryan { 02.24.13 at 9:37 pm }

The really annoying part is when people in electric wheelchairs get blocked in supermarket aisles, and they get out an walk over to get something. I’m not talking about limping or struggling, I’m talking about striding at a faster pace than I can make.

When my Dad couldn’t power his wheelchair anymore, my parents bought an electric model, that we still have. They didn’t expect anyone to pay for it, but them. The VA would have paid for it, and for the van they bought that had a wheelchair lift, but my parents didn’t think it would have been right, and didn’t want to deal with the bureaucracy. If someone needs those things and can’t afford them, then they should be provided, but don’t go around convincing people of a need that doesn’t actually exist, just so you can rip off the system. There are too many things that need to paid for, to waste money on greed.

I think you’ve penned the theme song for the next Tea Party rally, Steve. They’ll go to the mat for Hoverounds and AR-15s.

4 Steve Bates { 02.25.13 at 2:01 am }

‘tux, I am feeling better. Being footless has meant not carrying around something shriveled that didn’t support me, was demonstrably infected and hurt like hell. That particular pain is gone (I still have others, but I can cope with them), I’m off of those antibiotics in quantities more suitable for horses and cows, and I have a better attitude.

I even had a good technical problem to chew on today, one that left me wanting to pummel the faces of the development team that did the latest Mozilla Thunderbird 3 email configuration tool for IMAP email. I still haven’t gotten it working yet because I haven’t defeated its attempt to look up one’s email host in a Mozilla database: failing to find it, it throws up its hands (now there’s a visual image for you) and leaves you (at the wrong place) to configure it manually. I know the password is right, because it logs me into webmail. The other params… port numbers and protocols… I make three guesses before my host cuts me off, then drink coffee until they let me back on to try again. My guesses are informed guesses, but the whole combination hasn’t been right yet. Still, it feels pretty good to be “working” again, even if I don’t get a paycheck. I can’t say I’m wild about Thunderbird, even if it came already installed in Ubuntu 12.04.2 … Thunderbird, once a civilized and useful bit of s/w, is now truly amateurish, and as quirky as one of my uncles who jumped out of airplanes. (In W.W.II, of course.)

Bryan, in fairness to the TP crowd, mobility is truly the biggest issue for a lot of cripples (including me). But anyone serious about getting around again quickly learns that you can throw briefcases of money at the problem, but unless you train and work out, it’s not going to get any easier. I use a wheelchair rented from the hospital and I’m scheduled to go to TIRR’s wheelchair clinic in late March (!?) where they will measure me for a custom wheelchair which, we all hope (except the ins co), will be much better than the crap I’m renting now. But wheelchairs are for long excursions. So far, my uses of this one (or one equivalent) have been trips to appointments in the endless halls of buildings in the Texas Medical Center. But if I am stuck with it long enough, the ins co will say “we’ve already bought you a wheelchair,” and I’ll have to fight it out to receive the good (custom, and expensive) one.

5 Bryan { 02.25.13 at 11:40 am }

My Mother was trapped in a rental wheelchair for a few months, and I adjusted it as well as I could for her, but the adjustments were just too crude, too widely spaced to actually make the device anything more than OK, and ‘better than nothing’. If things had gone on much longer I was ready to just buy one and haul it down to the local machine shop to make it right.

I know they can be right because I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with disabled vets and some with people with brain injuries. A lot of their equipment is custom fitted, and it wasn’t done by the medical supply company. The carbon fiber chairs are really great, but almost as expensive as a car. The biggest plus is that the best of them can be micro-adjusted for an exact fit, not just within an inch.

My big problem with the whole Hoveround/Scooter Store mess is something that is common knowledge among the vets: if you don’t exercise as much as you reasonably can, you will go downhill quickly.

6 Kryten42 { 02.26.13 at 4:27 am }

Yeah, I agree Bryan. It should be incredible, but isn’t. *shrug*

Really happy to hear you are better Steve. I am rooting for you m8. Best of luck. 🙂

7 Bryan { 02.26.13 at 9:49 pm }

We have a great system, Kryten – Congress makes sure that programs and agencies can’t function efficiently so their campaign contributors can rip off the system, and then complains that the government isn’t efficient.