David Jayne's story of determination Breaking the rules to fix the rules
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."

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