Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gotta Balance This Budget on Somebody's Back

I use hearing aids, a Braille Writer, and a Braille Display for my computer each day.  I regularly buy hearing aid batteries and have to take a few med..s.  A friend of mine who has schizzophrenia and lives on an extremely tight budget may now have to pa taxes on the medication which allows her to function.  How about this for a petition to the Missouri Governor?

Just an FYI, see below.  I will work with Jen and Shannon on this and maybe we'll
put something in newsletter or find ways to alert consumers. Not sure how much, but
it  could be harmful to many.
Shelby Butler
Access Coordinator
Southwest Center for Independent Living
2864 S Nettleton
Springfield, MO  65807
Visit us @

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will.
Frederik Douglass

Forwarded message ----------

Date: Fri, May 31, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Subject: [Modisabilaw] Assistive Technology Sales Tax Exemptions Impacted by HB253

Tax Exemptions for Assistive Technology Impacted in HB253
A press release issued by the Governor yesterday noted that a portion of HB253 repeals
a long-standing sales tax exemption on prescription drugs.  The release estimated
that the repeal would impose a $200 million sales tax increase on Missourians who
need prescription drugs.
In addition to the prescription drug issue, it appears that the bill also repeals
the sales tax exemptions on a number of types of assistive technology devices that
Missouri Assistive Technology had worked to pass in the 1998 session.
HB253 removes most of the specific assistive technology that is currently exempted
in MO statue and replaces it with exemptions on “durable medical equipment” and “mobility
enhancing equipment”.  The problem is that some of the assisted technology currently
exempted falls under neither of those categories.
Below is a listing of currently exempted assistive technology and how it might be
impacted by HB253:
Assistive technology currently exempt that would appear
to lose its sales tax exemption
 under HB253.
These devices are rarely, if ever, considered durable medical equipment (DME) under
any definition (Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance, etc.)
o   Braille writers
o   Electronic Braille equipment
o   Reading machines
Electronic print enlargers and magnifiers
Hearing aids and hearing aid supplies (considered durable medical equipment by some
insurers but not all; not considered DME by MO HealthNet or Medicare).
Alternative and augmentative communication devices (not considered durable medical
equipment by many private insurers; is considered DME by MO HealthNet).
Rentals of scooters and manual and power wheelchairs  (the HB253 exemption on DME
and mobility enhancing equipment is on sales only).
Assistive technology currently exempt that may possibly continue to be exempt as
mobility enhancing equipment
 in HB253
o   Ambulatory aids
o   Manual and powered wheelchairs
o   Stairway lifts
o   Sales of scooters
Modification of motor vehicles  (possibly some access modifications, but not all
would appear to meet this terminology).
Assistive technology currently exempt that are likely to continue to be exempt as
durable medical equipment
 in HB253
o   Orthotic devices
o   Medical oxygen
o   Hospital beds and accessories
Home respiratory equipment and accessories
So while the exemption on some of these assistive technology devices is clearly repealed
by HB253, others are in a gray area where individuals with disabilities and seniors
may have to wade through disagreements with sellers as to whether they are exempt
or not.  For some types of assistive technology, the language of HB253 could result
in considerably more out-of-pocket expenses for individuals with disabilities and
their families.  The statutory section impacted by HB253 is
§144.030(19).  The bill has not yet been signed by the Governor.

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