Tuesday, June 18, 2013

BC Government Cash Grab From Seniors in Wheelchairs in Residential Care Gets Even Worse!

Disabled seniors must pay new $300 annual "maintenance" fee but future wheelchair use will be privatized, while BC Liberal political staff get rich pay raises 
BC seniors will have even more of their fixed income taken away to pay wheelchair "maintenance" fee
 - or rent or buy on wheelchair
Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Vancouver/The Tyee column

Tuesday June 18, 2013
By Bill Tieleman
"Action expresses priorities."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Disabled seniors in wheelchairs across British Columbia living in residential care are going to have even more money picked out of their pockets by the cash-hungry provincial government, according to an independent MLA.
Independent MLA Vicki Huntington said in an interview Saturday that not only will seniors be forced to pay a $300 a year wheelchair "maintenance" fee but all future wheelchair service will be fully privatized, costing them hundreds to thousands of dollars for necessary mobility equipment.
The Fraser Health Authority announced the new policy in a May 31 letter to seniors at South Delta's Mountain View Manor that was made public by their MLA.
That letter states that after Sept. 1, when the "maintenance" fee comes into effect for current residents, all new residents "will be required to purchase or rent equipment from an external supplier."
Manual wheelchair monthly rental fees range from $75 to $100 a month, while purchase prices range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. The only exceptions require "financial hardship" be demonstrated.
Fat raises for Clark gov't staff
The new policy came the same week Premier Christy Clark gave government's political staff a significant increase in their salary eligibility by up to $86,000 a year.
Clark's deputy Chief of Staff Michele Cadario's maximum pay went from $144,000 to $230,000, meaning she could potentially make more than U.S. President Barack Obama's Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who earns a paltry $172,200 a year.
Cadario's potential $86,000 raise alone would pay the annual wheelchair maintenance fees for 286 seniors.
The new policy and raises for political staff, Huntington says, are both "out of whack".
"The government's priorities are completely out of line with the public's," Huntington said.
But the situation will only get worse. The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority will also charge a wheelchair maintenance fee and now the Interior Health Authority is "looking" at one too.
Is there any question that the sudden imposition of a $300 a year wheelchair "maintenance" fee -- never before charged on equipment mostly donated by families is anything but a desperate attempt to help balance B.C.'s budget?
'Money grab': MLA Huntington
Huntington says it's a "money grab" by the BC Liberals, who promised to balance their budget this year.
"I think it's a new way to obtain revenue," she said.
"Really what the system is trying to do is strip every penny away from people," Huntington said. "They already take 80 per cent of after-tax income away and now they're saying: 'If you've got it, we'll take it.'"
The fee will have to come from the $200 a month "comfort fund" seniors in residential care have for personal incidentals -- like podiatry, non-prescription pharmacy items, shampoo, cable TV, hairdresser, special outings and other costs.
That's often the only money they have left after paying 80 per cenbt of their after-tax income to cover residential care home fees for accommodation, food and basic services.
To summarize: disabled seniors will have to pay a new $300 a year fee for the same wheelchairs they now use, out of their small fixed incomes, while BC Liberal political staff get rich pay raises.
If you think that's dead wrong, join my new Facebook group Wheelchairs for BC Seniors and send the government a message to put disabled seniors first, not their already well-paid staff.



Anonymous said...

One wonders if any 'reporters' have called the Interior Health Authority to find out what the wheelchair policy is in West Kelowna residential health facilities?

DPL said...

I use a wheel chair from time to time. Used but a quality model, 350 bucks and will last for years. I can't see the need for much for keeping them going( Used to be an engineer so I figure I can understand the fine tuning of such a thing) It's a money grab plain and simple. For people stuck in one most of the day, the fact they can't move without one makes them a captive source of income. Sad bunch of dolts we have running Health Associations.Sad bunch of dolts, somebody else voted in to remain in power. My goodness, please stop scaring the really elderly with such plans to nickle them to abject poverty.Do the BC Liberals not have e3lderly relations stuck in care places, in wheelchairs Have some compassion

Anonymous said...

Bend over BC, the best is yet to come.

Anonymous said...

Does make a person wonder who will be the wheelchair supplier and how much they've donated to the Liberal Party recently.....

Anonymous said...

Proves my point that voter literacy tests MUST be introduced in BC. It is obvious that over 40% of the electorate is mentally unfit to vote. Why should the LIBS do anything other than things like this. They spent 12 years lying and cheating and were rewarded with a solid election win.

Anonymous said...

What's pathetic is using this sad and disgusting situation for political points for a blog that obviously has a large audience of perpetual whiners.

If there was literacy tests for voters then Anonymous at Thursday at 2.34 pm would fail for sure.

The only reason why the Liberals were rewarded with a solid win is because the NDP were too stupid. They did not even try to engage the voters on the errors of the Liberals.

The Liberals did not win the election, the NDP threw it away.

They should get rid Adrian Dix at their next convention by holding an emergency resolution (which they do on almost everything else).

and to see who is to blame for that, look in the mirror tomorrow morning. You'll see the answer.

rpaulplays@yahoo.ca said...

On the election; in 24hrs I saw a peice that said that if everyone had voted, the liberal still would have won , which seems statistaically impossible, and then elections bc announced 160,000 more votes than last time despite reports of a low voter turn out ???

rpaulplays@yahoo.ca said...

Bill VanderZalm ...Province wide petition
Province wide petition to the RCMP to criminally investigate

rpaulplays@yahoo.ca said...

Seems to me the campbell gov. sold off the provinces revenue and that would seem to me to be our grandhildrens future. And with NO revenue, and fracking the only hope. election or no, some one should go to jail for this.

Anonymous said...

oh crap, the last thing this province needs is another one of VanderZalm's publicity adventures.

Seems that every time there's something bad with the BC Liberals it's "go to jail time" (without any clear concise reference to what it is qualifies for jail).

The fine whine cellar of Bill's is getting additions.

Is Bill going to do an in depth look at the NDP's Provincial Council meeting held this weekend?
(what was said by whom and why)

Of course not.

e.a.f. said...

Charging seniors for wheelchairs while in government care homes is disgusting and immoral. But hey B.C. voted lieberal and this is what we get.

This will not be recinded. c.c. is in the middle of an election for a seat and she still hasn't done anything about it. This is the first of many more such charges. We can expect to see charges in hospitals and more in care homes.

With the resignation of Cranston I would not be surprised she jumped ship prior to the leiberals contracting out the rest of health services. Its a no brainer for the lieberals and such a nice reward for whomever receives the contract.

The B.C. government is out of money and has been for some time. They have no intention of raising corporate taxes. It will come from the citizens of this province. By the end of 12 months in office do not be surprised if the government has dipped into our pockets for an additional $1K a yr.

If the lieberals really thought they would be receiving money from LNG or any other such commodity it would be doubtful they would be charging seniors for wheelchairs. It is so mickey mouse.

The majority voted for the lieberals and now we can live with it. For those who think this is all o.k., wait until they come for your pocket book.