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Fairness in government must extend even to Nevada's most vulnerable people. Protecting their choices, granting some of them greater autonomy, these things are worth focusing on.
We Need Over-The-Top Leadership from Gov. Sandoval.
My name is Rick Cline. I am a spinal cord injury quadriplegic advocating for people with disabilities. I am now using Nevada-Medicaid-paid, independent caregivers for my homecare.
Below are some questions I have laid out to uncover ongoing discrimination by state authorities. (Many Medicaid homecare recipients are deprived the equal right to similarly use independent caregivers. Few are aware the option even exists.)
In an effort to suppress knowledge of that discrimination, Medicaid administrators have personally threatened me. They seem to be virtually above the law. The Governor's Office has not welcomed in-depth discussion about these indiscretions and as much as possible has avoided accountability. (On February 22,2012 we manage to put our complaints and request directly into the hands of the Gov. We are still waiting for his response.)
Although his political advisers may discourage him, we have a strong hope in Governor Sandoval. We have asked him to take bold steps to ensure the well-being and greater independence of Nevada's elderly and people with disabilities.
Please ask these questions and verify the answers:
1. Does Nevada Medicaid currently exclude eligible people with disabilities from the Independent Caregiver Option which, others are supposedly "grandfathered" into? (Yes, they do this consistently. Nevada Medicaid has no such written policy but, they deprive would-be recipients with that pacifying excuse.)
2. Do the federal Medicaid rules permit for arbitrary denial of access to services, especially among equally eligible homecare recipients? (No. The State violates, 1.The Medicaid Act comparability law and, 2.Guaranteed freedom in choice of provider law.)
3. Does the United States Department of Justice consider it a travesty of the American Disabilities Act when the state of Nevada deprives people with disabilities fair and equal access to a program that others benefit from? (Can anyone get them to answer? The published DOJ guideline for determining when there is ADA violation states that a policy is in violation of the ADA when it does not…"Afford a qualified individual with a disability an opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit, or service that is not equal to that afforded others.")
4. Did Medicaid administrators threaten to take away my independent caregiver services if I stirred up these discrimination complaints? (Yes. I will swear to it under oath.)
5. Does an exaggeration of liability disallow civil and constitutional rights? (It does not. Administrators are now claiming they did these things to avoid liability for the state. This does not justify deliberate neglect of people's well-being, rights and our laws.)
Please e-mail any questions to: SpeakUp@NevadaDisabilities.org