"The sky is falling," he said.
Thomas, a graduate of
What Thomas and thousands of amputees are upset about is a proposed draft of
If implemented, the proposal would drastically reduce the standard of care for amputees in America by changing the evaluation process and reducing access to high-tech prostheses, he said.
"If they do this," Stubbs said, "we're basically going to be in the Civil War days with peg legs."
"CMS believes that
The proposal is a dense, 40-page document containing several points. Among the big changes: Patients' potential -- in addition to their current condition -- would no longer be considered; amputees would be given simpler prostheses instead of more technologically advanced items, and options for foot and ankle prostheses would be limited.
Another effect, Thomas said, is that development in prosthetic technology would be stopped. Eliminating expensive technologies takes away incentive for companies to develop new technologies, he said.
"This is absolutely egregious," Thomas said.
Stubbs agreed with Thomas, and said companies that make prosthetics will go out of business. But he said the people who will be most affected are the patients.
"It's going to affect patient care immensely," Stubbs said. "It's going to make it hard on the amputee. We're not going to be able to move forward at all."
Thousands of others agree. A petition on the
The website says that if any petition garners 100,000 or more signatures, the
As of Friday, the petition had 105,963 signatures, meaning the
"I have tremendous pride and tremendous honor in our population," Thomas said of the response of his community.
There will be a public meeting to discuss the proposal Wednesday from
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