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Page 6A — THURSDAY, December 24, 2009 Columbia Missourian

Disability: Bill looks to reduce Medicare spending


CONTINUED from page 1A Harlan left the legislature prove that memory disability notice of a 10 percent funding
Pre-existing conditions in 2002 and now specializes in is disabling,” Moody said. She reduction from the Missouri
Social Security benefits. He had hired Harlan. Department of Transporta-
clause said he still hears complaints But short-term memory tion. Although the cut amounts
One of the proposals in the that a person’s disabilities loss is a disability, she said to $500, Leslie Anderson, pro-
health care reform debate that affect job prospects. because “it is difficult for me gram manager at the organi-
has the potential to affect a “I explain to them that that’s to remember what I did yes- zation, said she realizes fund-
large number of people seek- what the law allows,” he said. terday.” ing reductions are inevitable.
ing insurance coverage is the When Blue Cross Blue The agency receives funds
elimination of pre-existing Shield started in Texas in the Independent living through multiple sources.
conditions exclusions. 1920s, the original intent was Moody lives at home and The money received from
“The pre-existing condi- to spread the risk, he said. hires a personal assistant from MoDOT supports the organiza-
tions clause is very broad, and “With private insurance the Services for Independent tion’s transportation program.
people with extremely minor companies, the intent has Living who helps her buy gro- The Services for Independent
disabilities, such as well-con- evolved into avoiding the ceries and reminds her to pay Living offers 1,200 free rides
trolled diabetes, can be denied risk,” Harlan said. bills and take medicines. She
a month to people with dis-
insurance,” Harlan said. It is also difficult to get prefers to stay at home rath- abilities to help buy groceries,
Insurance companies often covered by Social Security er than move into a nursing go to doctor’s appointments,
don’t want to write policies benefits. In cen- home because
she said she is visit places of worship and DAVID KENNEDY/Missourian
for smokers and sometimes tral Missouri, it attend community events.
charge women more than usually takes a More info able to carry
out most daily People come to know about
Leslie Anderson is a program manager at Services for
Independent Living in Columbia. She has been working
men, Harlan said. person two and its services through medical
“The problem got worse a half years to To read a list of specific activities, such for the agency since 2007 but has been involved with
as cooking and organizations and other out- organizations that provide assistance to people with
as we got accurate ways to receive Social changes if the House or reach efforts.
test health conditions, which Security bene- Senate bill is passed, go to bathing, by her- disabilities since 1993.
More than 100,000 people
means people with no dis- fits, Harlan said. ColumbiaMissourian.com. self and doesn’t lost their services in the state
abilities but with a propensity In some parts of need nursing There will be more funding are usually higher than oth-
home services. when Missouri cut Medicaid cuts. Democrats want cutbacks ers, so they tend to exceed
toward a condition might be the country, the funding in 2005, Anderson
denied coverage,” he said. wait time is twice as much. Organizations in payments to home health their cap easily. If the pro-
said. Medicaid reimburse- agencies that provide nursing posal makes its way into law,
A private company can Mary Moody is a 45-year- such as Services for Indepen-
ment rates from the Consum- care and therapy to Medicare people with disabilities will
decide whether to take on old who has a neurological dis- dent Living help people with
er Directed Services program beneficiaries at their homes. find it a little easier to finance
the health risk of a potential order that gradually increases serious disabilities carry on
partially fund many of the Democrats said they want to medical care.
employee, and the decision weakness in the legs and arms. their daily activities by pro-
agency’s services, including eliminate waste and inefficien-
may depend in part on how big She said she received disabil- viding direct services. Over Public option
ity benefits from the state for the years, however, cutbacks transportation, home modifi- cy in home care services.
the company is. If the compa- cations, such as ramps, and A public option is one of
the disorder right after apply- in state funding for people The health care bill looks to
ny employs several thousand adaptive technology, such as the most important proposals
ing. Later, when a brain injury with disabilities have affected reduce Medicare spending on
people, the costs are spread for people with disabilities in
caused her to have short-term services for assisted living, emergency telephone dialing. home care by $43 billion, or 13
across all the employees. But the health care reform debate,
memory loss, she had to wait Harlan said. “If people with serious dis- percent of the current spend-
if it is a small company with Harlan said.
years to receive disability According to Jim Crane, abilities live in nursing homes, ing, over the next 10 years.
few workers, one higher-risk People in rural counties find
benefits. office manager at Services it not only disrupts their daily The Democrats hope to fund
employee can make a differ- it is hard to get private insur-
“I had to get an attorney for Independent Living, the lives but is also expensive for coverage of uninsured people
ence in the company’s overall ance coverage because it costs
for this, but it was difficult to agency has already received taxpayers,” Harlan said. through the reductions.
costs. companies more, he said.
Prohibition of lifetime Right now it is unclear
caps whether a public option will
The health care reform bill remain in the final bill. “But
also proposes a revision of as a rural state, we should be
private insurance company concerned if a public option is
regulations that will increase not available,” Harlan said.
The tradition of holiday lighting originated centuries ago, but LED lights the number of insured people. Other proposals that could
available today promise improved safety, reduced energy costs as well as It would bar insurance com- affect people with disabilities
panies from placing lifetime are still on the table. Cuts in
overall better illumination. Research and graphics by Kourtney Geers limits or unreasonable annual funding, meanwhile, continue
limits on individual and group to affect organizations such
health plans. as Services for Independent
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOLIDAY LIGHTING “Once the policy holder Living.
1600s 1882 1901 1920s 1950s 1962 2002 2006 crosses the cap, it is as good as “With each round of cuts,
having no insurance,” Harlan we will have to become more
Christmas Edward Johnson The first The cost of Retailers Nick LED The Capitol said. And for people with dis- creative in seeking funding
trees are hand-wired 80 commercial electric lights market a Holonyak Christmas Christmas abilities, the treatment costs opportunities,” Anderson said.
adorned with red, white and light sets are drops; electricity variety of invents a lighting is first tree is
candles blue bulbs and offered to becomes readily lighting, practical made lighted

Lights: Habitat for


attached wound them businesses for available in experimenting light-emitting available for using only
with wax or around a rotating use in window homes. with bulb shape diode, LED. commercial LED
small pins. evergreen tree. displays. and colors. consumption. lighting.

SPENDING TO SAVE
Although LED holiday lights have a higher purchase price than traditional
Humanity among
benefiting charities
incandescent lights, they quickly pay for themselves through energy
savings. LEDs also have a greater longevity than the traditional options,
lasting an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 hours.

ENERGY COST OF COMPARABLE OPTIONS CONTINUED from page 1A This year, members of the
Lighting for an 8-foot tree for five hours per day for 30 days; Energy cost is calculated at $.0823/kilowatt hour. Adds Kris Tenny-Brittian: Old Wheels Car Club, a group
“The other night, a family to which both Kavanaugh and
$2 $4 $6 $8 $10 was out there with this little Bob Emery belonged, banded
girl dancing in the yard with together to help erect the dis-
LED mini-ice (280 bulbs on four strings, 14 watts) the music. It keeps you going, play to continue Bob Emery’s
and you want to do it more.” dream.
LED C7 (300 bulbs, 24 watts) For Sharon Emery, a holi- “I wasn’t going to put them
day light display on Stirling up,” Sharon Emery said. “I’m
Incandescent premium mini-lights (300 bulbs, 108 watts) Court, off Highland Drive, is so glad now that they forced
about carrying on her hus- me to do it. It’s helping me
Incandescent standard mini-lights (300 bulbs, 144 watts) get through the
band’s legacy.
Bob Emery, holidays. The first
Incandescent C7 (125 bulbs, 750 watts)
who died this “It’s a very couple weeks,
I couldn’t be in
spring, made his
displays by hand. comforting any of the rooms
facing the street.
He included a feeling to be out I hid in my base-
INSIDE THE ILLUMINATION race car in honor
of Carl Edwards, there with the ment to avoid
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are found in many devices
such as digital clocks, watches and appliances. They
a church with a
swinging bell, lights. I feel like them.” That all
can be collected together to form television screens or
traffic lights. The perks of LEDs are that they are tiny
a gingerbread my husband’s changed when she
started talking to
house and a
energy efficient light bulbs that easily fit into an Nativity scene. with me.” people. Hearing
electrical circuit. After people how much the
Sharon Emery display meant to
began driving Christmas light decorator
HOW LEDs WORK by the house, he Columbia over the
1 Current from the wires passes forward Emitted light decided he want- years changed
direction, from the anode post to the ed to make a difference by her mind.
cathode post, which causes negative raising money for Habitat for “Now I love them all the
electrons and positive holes to move Nearly indestructible Humanity. He set out a dona- more,” Emery said. “It’s a
in opposite directions. colored epoxy casing tion tin can. very comforting feeling to
“His goal was always to be out there with the lights.
2 Free electrons exist at a higher raise enough money to help I feel like my husband’s with
energy level than the holes. This Dome lens Habitat for Humanity build me.”
causes the free electron to lose a house,” said family friend Nightly she collects dona-
energy when it falls into the hole. Kenneth Kavanaugh. tions and greets everyone
The energy emitted takes the
form of a light photon.
Wedge Anode post SAFETY STATISTICS “We chose Habitat for who drives by to see her hus-
wire bond Holiday lights and other decorative lighting Humanity because 90 per- band’s masterpiece. She often
were involved in an estimated average of cent of what we collect stays gives away hugs of gratitude
3 The size of an 170 home structure fires per year from right here in the community,” to those who donate.
electron’s fall Cathode post; 2003 to 2007, according to the National Sharon Emery said. “It’s the “I feel like I’m surrounded
determines its energy reflector cup Fire Protection Association. LEDs, unlike, people of Columbia giving by the love of the commu-
level, which in turn incadescents, reduce the risk of fire since back to Columbia.” nity,” she said.
determines the color the bulbs do not get hot to the touch.
of the photon. A
higher fall produces a Negative HOME STRUCTURE FIRES IGNITED
higher energy level BY DECORATIVE LIGHTS
Positive By month from 2003 to 2007
and also a higher
light frequency. 50 percent

40

30

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN 20


Instead of just tossing lights out, consider these sustainable options:
Create twist-ties from discarded wire; reuse old bulbs in crafts or create jewelry 10
designs from excess material.
Give away old lights or use a trading program like Freecycle, or donate them. J F M A M J J A S O N D
For more information on criteria for donation visit these Web sites:
EnvironmentalLights.com, HolidayLEDs.com or ChristmasLightSource.com

ELISA DAY/Missourian
A colorful display of candy canes and Christmas lights
Sources: U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION, NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION, GREEN
OPTIONS, HOW STUFF WORKS, ENERGY STAR, WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION ENERGY PROGRAM, decorates a house Tuesday on Stratford Court in northwest
HOLIDAYLEDS.COM, CONSUMER REPORTS DATA, WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION, ANTIQUE CHRISTMAS Columbia.
LIGHTS MUSEUM, ENVIRONMENTALLIGHTS.COM, HOLIDAYLEDS.COM; CHRISTMASLIGHTSOURCE.COM