[nabs-l] FW: ALERT! Sign-On to Letter to Congressional LeadershipConcerning Health Reform and Vision Loss]

Ashley Bramlett bookwormahb at earthlink.net
Fri May 29 21:41:36 UTC 2009

I agree.  Gedi is right blindness is a social issue but its also a medical 
issue and I agree with you.  It needs to be covered more by insurance and 
proper care
given by an optomitrist or opthimologist.  I have low vision like you Jim 
and although I support blindness techniques I want to use and keep the 
vision I do have since its a visual world.  Sometimes vision is an 
advantage.  For instance seeing money so you know if you're cheated on or 
seeing colors so you don't have to memorize or label everything.

When I go for low vision exams I want it covered by insurance.  When I go 
for eye exams I want it covered.  Sadly insurance doesn't cover much for low 
vision.  My  insurance, Blue cross, doesn't cover low vision exams.  We paid 
out of pocket.
Its even worse for seniors.  They don't have vr counselors who will pay for 
technology or low vision devices like we have.  Are you all aware medicare 
does not pay for O/M service orlow vision exams or aides?  They will not pay 
for zoomtext or CCTVS.  They will pay for other medical needs like physical 
therapy or occupational therapy, but not low vision rehabilitation.
So indeed we need health reform as it relates to vision loss!  If you break 
a leg, medicare will help.  If you need surgery they will fund it.  If you 
need hearing aides its covered!  But if you are losing your vision to age 
related macular degeneration, well you'll be paying a lot out of pocket. 
Talk about all the philosophy you want.  But like Jim said you need to be 
realistic about what medical care vision loss and blindness brings!
I support skills and training.  But no amount of skills/training will  will 
change the fact that I was born prematurally and my optic nerve had some 
complications.  We don't know the details or why because I'm adopted.  This 
potential medical reform is important because it would expand coverage to 
get O/M service and low vision/talking aides.
It may not help us but it will help many struggling seniors.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim Reed" <jim275_2 at yahoo.com>
To: "NABS mail list" <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 3:48 PM
Subject: [nabs-l] FW: ALERT! Sign-On to Letter to Congressional 
LeadershipConcerning Health Reform and Vision Loss]

You said, "First, blindness is not necessarily a health problem. If 
blindness is a social issue of an economic and educational nature
rather than a health care problem." I have to completly disagree.

I support the NFB's philosopy that with training, blindness can be reduced 
to a mere nucance, but there is a difference between optimisim and 
ignorance. At some point we have to be realistic as to what blindness is. 
Blindness is the result of a medical disorder, disease, or trauma. No amount 
of training is going to change the fact that I have a genetic eye disease 
called Retinitus Pigmentosa that is treated (or atleast monitored) by a 
doctor. I am sorry, but I don't go to a doctor to be treated for a "social 
issue of an economic and educational nature"; I go to a doctor to get 
medical treatment for a medical deseaae/disorder. If I wanted to be treated 
for a "social issue of an economic and educational nature", I would go see a 
therapist, a preist, a teacher, or a librarian, not a doctor.

It is true that "blindness" itself is not a disease/disorder, rather 
blindness is a symptom of many different diseases/disorders. But, just 
because blindness is a symptom, rather than a cause does not give blindness 
some sort of special, non-medical classification. You cannot seperate the 
medical diagnosis from the symptoms is causes. For example, unquestionably, 
diabeties is a medical condition, but what about the low blood sugar it 
causes? Is low blood sugar also a "social issue of an economic and 
educational nature", or is low blood sugar a medically relivant side-effect 
of diabeties? What about diabeties-related blindness? Is the side-effect of 
"blindness" a medical condition or a "social issue of an economic and 
educational nature"? Why is there a difference between diabeties's side 
effect of low blood sugar, and its side-effect of blindness?

I wonder if there is a relucance to call blindness a medical condition 
because for the most part, blindness is untreatable/uncureable? I wonder if 
more forms of blindness were medically treatable and cureable, would more 
blind people be willing to admit that their blindness is indeed a medical 


Homer Simpson's brain: "Use reverse psychology."
 Homer: "Oh, that sounds too complicated."
 Homer's brain: "Okay, don't use reverse psychology."
 Homer: "Okay, I will!"

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