The new Minutemen and a completely different kind of Tea Party
So you can prepare. Or decide how to respond.
You can just lay down and let them kill you. Or you can put your affairs in order, and then lay down.
Or… you can fight. Maybe even get others who love you, or love your ideals, to fight with you.
A fellow T-1 has decided to fight. And he has asked me to join him. And I’m asking you to join us.
It started with a fax from Dr. Steven Edelman of TCOYD (Taking Control Of Your Diabetes) Circus fame. It started off “Dear Friend.” Now, Dr. E and I have met a few times, and have even corresponded occasionally, but I doubt he would recognize my name, much less count me among his circle of friends.
It must be a form letter.
Still having nothing better to do—as no one wants to see their diabetes educator between T-day and X-mass—I read the fax. Who would have thought that five paragraphs would raise my blood pressure so much?
So first some background. Medicare is the 800 pound gorilla in health insurance. All of the smaller gorillas, like BlueCross, Presbyterian, and the like, look to Medicare to see what they can get away with and what they can’t get away with.
Of course, we are talking test strips again.
Right now Medicare’s “guidelines” allow for one strip per day for diabetics on oral meds and three strips per day for those of us who shoot up. Insulin that is. To get your one-or-three strips covered requires some pretty strange paperwork and record keeping on the part of your doc.
But these guidelines are not carved in stone. A doc can get you more by doing even stranger paperwork and record keeping. But now a proposed Medicare rule change would take this guideline and carve it into marble. Oh. No. That’s not quite right.
First it would reduce the number of strips even further. Then it would be carved in marble.
The “Draft LCD” Medicare rule would absolutely fix diabetes testing supplies at one strip per day for folks who pop pills and two strips per day for those of us who shoot up.
Think this doesn’t affect you because you aren’t on Medicare? Think again. A quote from Martin Niemöller about the Holocaust comes to mind:
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Whatever Medicare does Medicaid does. Whatever Medicare and Medicaid do private insurance does. It’ll be a falling domino effect that’ll fall on your head faster than you can read this post.
I know that, even with a CGM, I cannot safely manage my diabetes with two strips per day.
Dr. Edelman was calling on his fellow docs to “stand up as advocates for the rights of our patients to receive quality care and for our rights as physicians to practice appropriate medicine.” Amen.
Our docs are taking up arms to defend us. I think we should join the fight. Here’s Dr. E’s simple plan of attack. Call the Congressional Switchboard at 1-866-220-0044. If you give them your zip code they’ll connect you with your Senator’s office. Each Senator apparently has a Healthcare Liaison. Give that person an earful.
OK, I might have paraphrased that last line a little bit. Dr. Edelman isn’t quite as radical as I am.