Miami Herald columnist Jackie Bueno Sousa wrote about scooters today, insinuating that people would get them that don't really need them, even though a doctor has to fill out a form. Sousa said:
"The ads hype the benefits of owning the electric vehicles, designed to transport those who have difficulty walking but which, in actuality, are pretty much available to anyone on Medicare..."
She uses the scooter as a poster-child of excess, questioning what is really a health necessity. By extension she argues that these rising costs are what is wrong with healthcare today.
Okay Jackie, read this. My mother-in-law can't hold her urine. She is crushed. It is the indignity, she has lost control of everything in her life. She can't cut her food, she can't dress herself, she is helpless but she can do one thing: She can now get up. Yes, medicare paid $350 of the $595 cost of the godawful chair pictured at left. But this ugly chair gave my mother-in-law one small dignity, the ability to stand on her own. She loves her chair...and not much else about her life. My mother-in-law can't work the buttons or else she might have a scooter. If people can get about with a scooter, I am happy for them. I wouldn't argue, as Bueno-Sousa did, that they might be taking advantage of the system: "It is costing all of us." What is dignity worth and quality of life? We will all have to face these realities one day. And, to the scooter trashers, most of the people who own them don't have the motor skills or strength to turn the wheels on a conventional wheel-chair and need to be pushed by others. Those 'others' (aides) cost about $1,000 a week round-the-clock. I tried the wheel-chair at my mother-in-law's and I couldn't get it to move on the rug with my feet scooting the chair.