Medicare and Low Vision, continued

It has been pointed out to me that our first article might not have been clear. So we will atempt to clarify our position.

What we haven’t made clear is that this blog as a journal has been almost 500 articles on low vision assistive technology, not assistive technology in general. Low Vision is an affliction generally of the aged. These are people who are almost all on Medicare. They are not blind. Instead everything is blurry either in their central retina where we read (the macula) or in patches throughout the retina. As of now, it cannot be cured. It can be compensated for with magnification and improved contrast. These many and various methods of compensation make up Low Vision Assistive Technology.
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The point of the article is how Medicare singles out those with Low Vision and discriminates against them. Medicare pays for walkers and power wheel chairs for the lame. Medicare pays for CPAP machines for those with sleep and breathing disorders. Medicare will pay for prosthetic arms or legs. Medicare pays for orthotic leg, arm, back or neck braces. They pay for diabetic glucose testing  and even diabetic shoes.
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They do NOT pay for any Low Vision aids. (They also don’t pay for hearing aids.)
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Since people with low vision must pay for these devices out of their own pocket, we hope to make them better consumers. Hence the last paragraph is the plan for a future series, showing good, better and cheapest. One example which  we will cover in detail is the so-called CCTV for $1,500 (what you want to read is magnified on an HD monitor). A better one for $2,500 actually reads  the  prescription directions to you. The cheap way for only $175 is called the Miracle Mouse: a camera and an LED  in a mouse body that plugs into a USB port and uses your computer to do the rest.
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Here is an outline of the low vision aids we intend to cover.
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Low Vision Products

1. Magnification

Desktop CCTV

Computer screen magnifier

Portable Electronic Magnifier

Monocular

Magnifying glass with LED

2. Speech devices

CCTV with speech

Computer screen magnifier with speech

KNFB Reader

OCR Book Reader

Kindle Book Reader

3. Telescopic Eyeglasses

 4. Misc hardware

Special Keyboards with and without backlighting

Auxiliary Speakers

Trackballs

5. Software for computers & Apps for iPods and SmartPhones

ZoomText

Screen magnifier

Simple computer controls

VoiceOver

Dragon Naturally Speaking

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