Dec 112006

According to a story in the Miami Herald, there’s a severely disabled young man with a basic medical need which the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities just refuses to meet. And they’re spending our tax dollars to keep from meeting that need.

Kevin Estinfil is a severely disabled 12 year old. He has severe cerebral palsy, is blind, has a shunt in his brain to drain excess fluid and has daily seizures. And his body can’t control its own temperature. To help with that latter condition, his doctors have suggested that Kevin use thermal blankets to help control his body temperature. He would need three of these a month.

Wow! Three thermal blankets a month. You might think that it’s no wonder the State would not want to cough up for that. You might think that would be pretty expensive…but you’d be wrong. Each blanket costs about $10, so we’re really talking about approximately $360 for a whole year’s worth.

Since this is less than about $1 a day, and since Kevin’s doctors think this is a medical need, you’d expect the Agency for Persons with Disabilities would have no problem taking care of that…but you’d be wrong. Some idiotic “head-up-his-butt” bureaucrat at APD has overruled Kevin’s doctors and determined it’s not a medical necessity. So for a year now, they’ve refused to provide these $10 blankets.

Fortunately, a Legal Aid attorney has come to Kevin’s aid. You would think that once an attorney had taken up Kevin’s case, and got it before an impartial state hearing officer, Kevin would get his blankets…but you’d be wrong. Kevin lost his appeal of the determination to a state hearing officer.  

Given that Kevin’s attorney has appealed the determination to the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami, you would probably expect the APD would realize how stupid they are looking, and give the kid his blankets…but you’d be wrong. Now, soon to be Governor, Charlie Crist’s current office (Attorney General), is spending thousands of our tax dollars to defend the idiotic decision of APD.

You would think a simple cost-benefit analysis would lead some sensible person in our State Capital to a reasonable decision in this case…but you’d be wrong.

I’ve a call in to my State Representative’s Office, and I’ve called APD, but of course, they do like always and cite privacy concerns as their blanket excuse to not discuss their stupidity. I’m glad to know they have a place to hide. I expect the same response from the Attorney General’s Office, but I’ll call anyway, and I invite you to do the same if you live here in Florida. You might not think you can make a difference…but you’d be wrong.

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