Jon Ralston of Face To Face, asked these questions:
Who specifically has threatened you? And with what?
Over the last few years, I have been discreetly but directly told that my current homecare system, (the Independent Caregiver Option), would be taken away, should I formally press the point that there is ongoing discrimination in the ministration of that option.
In a private meeting on March 23, Mr. Willden and Mary Liverratti very clearly let me know "We cannot have any discrimination" claims and that in such case, "I will lose my use of the Independent Caregiver services." (This latter part, my clarification statement, was then very directly affirmed.*) *(Although their threatening words were crafted to avoid an easily discernible audio verification of the threatening, they very clearly communicated the threat.) That is, with a yes and a nod from the head, they gave their affirmation to my clarification question,… Then you will take away my independent caregiver service's?
I was also warned of their ample experience in legal disputes. And, they were obviously crafty in the phraseology* they used to communicate this threat during that tape-recorded meeting. They are confident, with good reason, that they are relatively untouchable. My goal isn't to attack them per se, but to make sure what they have neglected is made right. The problem is the rights and well-being of certain vulnerable people are being neglected.
So I Took It to the Governor
I had the last part of the First Amendment, "… to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.", in mind when I wrote to the governor a couple of weeks after the meeting I mentioned above. Among other things I wrote:
"I have patiently petitioned the state Medicaid and Gov. to redress a discrimination grievance and to better respect the human dignity of those affected by Medicaid policy. For that, Mr. Willden, Mary Liverratti, and Mr. Charles Duarte, are threatening to revoke allowance of the Independent Caregiver Option.
That elimination of my current care system, would cause extreme personal harm. Also, such a response/retaliation, (asserted because I am pushing these issues before you and the Department of Justice), tramples my First Amendment rights. Is this also the "fix", for a discriminatory policy, that you endorse? (The ongoing discrimination occurs against other Medicaid recipients who are now unfairly deprived access to the Independent Caregiver Option.)"
The governor's office responded, but rather nonchalantly about the threatening. They seemed to treat my charge of First Amendment rights violation as something incidental or that was not worthy of comment. They only slipped in the following response at the end of their letter:
"In closing, I also want to convey that Mr. Willden and Mr. Duarte have both assured me your independent caregiver services will continue."
In another letter to the governor last week, among other things, I complained about the inadequacy of their previous response to my claims of having my First Amendment rights trampled.
"Your office gave no comment" … "nor acknowledged that their threatening of retaliation even occurred. Rather, you praised their performance and reiterated their "employership liability" spin to make their actions appear appropriate."
Here are the discrimination questions still being avoided by the Gov.'s Office.
1. Does Nevada Medicaid currently exclude eligible people with disabilities from the Independent Caregiver Option which, others are supposedly "grandfathered" into?
2. Do the federal Medicaid rules permit for arbitrary access to services, especially among equally eligible homecare recipients?
3. Does the United States Department of Justice consider it a travesty of the American Disabilities Act when the state of Nevada deprives, equally eligible people with disabilities, fair and equal access to a program that others benefit from?
4. Does an unsubstantiated claim of liability disallow civil and constitutional rights? ("A state cannot seriously argue liability issues when it has no basis in evidence of any kind, anywhere in the country, to deny people their civil and constitutional rights to live in the community with adequate supports which are far more cost effective than institutional care.", DH)
5. Have Medicaid administrators threatened Independent Caregiver Option user(s), with elimination of their services, if these discrimination issues are brought forward?