Steve Gleason turns to Twitter to get Medicare to cover Internet costs
Steve Gleason took to his Team Gleason Twitter account on Friday to drum up support in his efforts to get Medicare to cover Internet costs on devices for people with disabilities.
The former New Orleans Saint was diagnosed with ALS in January 2011 and founded Team Gleason to help those afflicted "live productive, inspired lives by providing access to life-affirming events and assistive technology until a cure is found."
Here are his messages:
2. @CMSgov is willing to allow tablets (like mine) but, wants to "lock" any useful tools - internet, text, etc. so, no useful communication— steve gleason (@TeamGleason) December 5, 2014
3. @CMSgov is essentially asking you - "is access to the internet essential?" I've heard some looney questions, but thats tops them all!— steve gleason (@TeamGleason) December 5, 2014
7. Take 5 minutes to answer @cmsgov looney question. Tell them access to the web, is a "normal" part of functional life in America. Today!— steve gleason (@TeamGleason) December 5, 2014
8. If youve ever been inspired or motivated by me, I ask you to help me help others today. Go here TODAY to fix this: http://t.co/hnLMEIDCvF— steve gleason (@TeamGleason) December 5, 2014
A spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wrote this reponse to For the Win: “CMS is committed to beneficiaries’ access to needed technologies to improve their quality of life, including the coverage of speech-generating devices for individuals with a severe speech impairment. Since the technologies and the use of devices that generate speech have evolved, CMS has begun the process to update its Medicare coverage policy on speech-generating devices. While the agency works to update the national coverage policy, we expect beneficiaries to continue to have access to this critical technology.”