Inequities in Missouri's social services revealed
September 18, 2008
Oh, here's the story: It starts with the local Social Services and an ever shifting set of regulations that apply to Medicaid and a lack of transparency in how those rules are enforced, which leads to a form of state-sponsored extortion used on the disabled.

You see I am one of those disabled persons with chronic health problems and no transportation. In other places I might be able to use public transit systems to get to and from doctors. etc. But being five miles outside the city limits, that's not an option. (Yes, a bus does come out this way once a week giving me a three-four hour window in town). Being on Social Security makes taking taxis very costly.

So, this is the problem: The system for non-emergency transportation was once based on my medical cost such as hospital stays and doctor visits, but no more. Now it's based on the cost of my prescription drugs alone. (When this change occurred is unknown.) So now I can only use this system if I give the state access to my bank account to withdraw an ever-changing spend down amount.

Now I don't know about you but I just can't see myself trusting a system that can't keep its story straight. I'm paying for a month of services and at best getting three weeks, as well as being forced to go one or more weeks without eating well.

So, am I being unreasonable? If I don't eat I damage my health and if I can''t get medical treatment I will die sooner than I might otherwise. I could give the state access to my bank and never know how much they will take out, or not eat causing my doctors to tell me that I must take better care of myself. What are your thoughts?

William Gover
Duneweg, MO

Editor's note: An attack on the social services system administered by Rita Hunter in Jasper County by a former Carthage resident named Emma France revealed the opportunity for public administrators in Missouri by declaring an individual incompetent to choose to gain control of the individual's finances (including social Security income) and use them not just to pay for services but to pay for services rendered and to pad those costs. This practice has been labeled unjust by many following Emma France's appeals. The people listened. Last August in the primary Hunter lost her bid for reelection on the Republican ticket. A class action suit was filed by France, Guy Sesler and Treba Benson last July against Hunter and her deputy public administrator who allegedly was paid from the funds of those under their protection. So, is the state of Missouri looking into the injustice in this system of remumeration? We hope so.

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