By BILL TORPY
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer
David Jayne jokes that he's trying to change federal regulations on homebound
health care without lifting a finger.
John Spink / AJC David Jayne risked his health benefits by leaving home. But he
did need a forklift to hoist his body and wheelchair onto an airplane Monday so
he could take his crusade to Washington.
Jayne, 40, of Clayton County, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as
Lou Gehrig's disease). He breathes through a machine, speaks with a computer
synthesizer and cannot move. But his home health care was discontinued for about
two weeks in late 2000 after an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about his
disease described him leaving home to give motivational speeches and going to a
University of Georgia football game.
Such trips violated Medicare's definition of "homebound."
"As the law stands now, an individual is allowed to go to the doctor, church and
adult day care," Jayne said via e-mail. "One is forced to live under house
arrest or be a cheat and liar."
Jayne this week will lobby for a bill that would loosen the regulations -- and
again, he will be breaking the rules. His home health care was reinstated in
December 2000 after he appealed the decision and after Medicare got calls from
the office of U.S. Rep. Mac Collins (R-Ga.).
"He has been a leader for this cause because he is willing to risk his services;
I don't know many people willing to do this," said Anne-Marie Hughey, director
of the Virginia-based National Council on Independent Living. "With all the
technology available today, there's no reason [a person qualifying for home
care] cannot go into the community."