From CRE’s DME Hotline: 1-800-613-7678 (East Chatham, CT)

[Editor’s Note:  The following call, although lengthy, provides a sense of the value beneficiaries can place on their supplier and how strongly they are concerned about competitive bidding.]

I’m from East Chatham, Connecticut. I deal with J&L Medical Equipment in Middlebury, Connecticut for respiratory. I was on machines that kept me alive in the hospital and sent home and I’m still alive because this company… even when I’m… and when an emergency happens and something is wrong with the machine. This is a small company that has built itself up. It’s not a big major company and I am very worried about the letters that I got in my medical equipment today that I called them yesterday and I just got it right now. I mean I get it the next day or they drive it to me within an hour.  When my machine broke they had it to me within an hour.  They are an hour away from me and they even set it up and help me get my meds in me.  What a big major company taking over with this Competitive Bidding. What in God’s name does that mean for me?  Am I going to die?  Who do I contact? And who am I going to contact if this is set up on a lower …. they bidded lower which means it’s going to put out the good companies out of business that help people like me who need to breathe.  You know…I need oxygen….  Who do I call?  Whom am I going to call?  Ghostbusters to come help me? I am very concerned, not only for myself but for others like my sister who is on oxygen in Canton, Connecticut. I am calling because this letter.  It’s got me scared now.  Because my…physically and mentally…this company has been great with me since I got released from the hospital.  I spent a long time now on a machine. I’m alive.  I’m staying alive.  I have a positive attitude towards life and this company has been very good with me.  I just don’t understand.  You can’t put the….  Don’t put the small companies out of business.  They’re the best ones.  They run to you. I mean, I called this thing in yesterday and I just got it.  It’s 12:20pm and I called it in the same time yesterday.  If I needed it right away, they would have drove it out… like when my machine broke down.  I’m calling because…You know, they said … you know, you’re supposed to call and give an opinion.  Well, please don’t put these small companies who built their way up and help people like me in the event of an emergency.  What am I going to do?  Call China to come and help me? Or what company over bid them.  Keep these small companies. I mean..yeah… they are not major.  They are not huge or big but they’re good.  I mean…You call in and your machine breaks..  an hour… less than an hour later there was a guy here. He even set it up for me so I could get the meds in me. [ unintelligible] in me…nebulizers and oxygen and stuff like that… You can’t do this to us. I mean if you go to a big company who is going to come to us? Who is going to help us?  Who is going to be there to get it out to us… stat… stat?  Like when my mask blew up… and the hoses … you know get clogged and there are no more hoses left.  I mean, these people are great. J&L Medical in Middlebury, Connecticut is my company I use from the hospital… with the walkers and everything.  I am really scared now. Now you have me scared because I don’t know what this means for me and I’m a Medicare person.  I’m sixty-two years old and I need to breathe and I need somebody close by.  And they’re the closest for me because I was at Hartford hospital for a long time and I’m alive. [UNINTELLIGIBLE] but I’m alive.  That machine kept me alive. I’m here and I’m going to live to be 80.  As long as I keep this company and they keep my tubing and my mask and everything all you know… up-to-date. You know, the minute I need one, it’s here.  I mean it’s there the next day. Like I said, I called yesterday at this time and I got it this time, today. If the machine breaks, they come right out with a truck and a whole unit for me.  I mean, what are they going to do if they give it to a big company.  Where are they going to come from?      California?!  I mean, please..please take it into consideration…and let us keep what we have. I’m on Medicare…. Please… and I pay for insurance for medicines and that… Please…please let them not judge us this low bid thing.  What do I do? Run to a hospital? What do you want a hospital bill for thousands of dollars from people who can’t breathe?  I don’t want to run to no hospital. Not when they’re taking such great care of me there with my doctors and everything. So please, please voice your opinion in Washington, DC that these small companies are better for us ….for the people and their country . Country… I’m talking country…in the middle of the woods on a mountain.  These people drive an hour or deliver it next day service… I mean, same day service if it is an emergency.  They’re right there.  Right away.  I mean, you can’t put them out of business.  Please don’t do this to us.  Please voice my opinion and I gave you my name and I’m a Medicare recipient and I’m sixty-two years old and I want to breathe and I want this company to stay with you, Medicare. Please don’t eliminate them from Medicare and go to a lower cost because I don’t want nothing from China.  I don’t want no tubing from China or anything because I don’t know what the hell they are going to put in it.  At least I know this stuff is good and I am alive because of it. Thank you and I hope you do pass this on. And I know I am not the only one worrying.  My sister is crying right now and she is sixty-nine. So, you know… I don’t know what else to say except please…please don’t take this away from them because of Competitive Bidding by a big major corporation like Walmart who put all the small business out of business. Don’t do that to us in the woods.  We live in the country. We’re country folk.  I mean, you know..we’re are not illiterate or anything.  We are all college educated people but we are on top of a mountain. We’re in the middle of the woods.  They are an hour away.  They give me better service than…. And what are these people going to do?  How are they going to get to me? I don’t understand.  Please voice my opinion.    Please pass this along to Washington, DC.  And please tell the President … President Obama.. I’m all for him and everything and cutting cost and everything.  But this is not the way to [unintelligible] people who have breathing problems and need medical equipment, right away like stat. I can’t wait four days in the mail and I’m not going to live in a hospital for four days because the bill will be a hundred times the mask and tubing and the machine. Do you know what I’m saying?  So please pass this along. … Ok. Thank you.”

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