Monday, May 18, 2009

What To Do With Wisconsin Legislation on CI??

Here is an open letter to Jack Barr and Darrell Roby what both of you and other concerned deaf individuals in regard to the questionable government intervention having the health insurance industry to be mandatory required of providing the insurance coverage on cochlear implant surgery on deaf babies and youngsters upon parental or guardian request.

Both of you really have several options like asking the state attorney general to instruct Governor Doyle to veto the Senate bill # 27 and Assembly bill # 16 due to the backdoor legislation without any input/feedback from ordinary citizens which is actually violation of Wisconsin's state "Sunshine Law" and transparency laws. That is the first step of contacting the state
attorney general of Wisconsin to suspend Governor Doyle from approving and signing the
Senate bill # 27 and House bill # 16.

Second step is to find the transparency advocacy group to assist both of you to file the lawsuit against the Wisconsin's Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission for its failure for not providing any citizen involvements and inputs and reviews for any legislation affecting the deaf community. Citizens for Responsible Government is one of the perfect example advocacy group watchdog over the State of Wisconsin -

You, Jack Barr and Darrell Roby really could find some way to get the "backdoor legislation" of Senate bill # and House bill # to be expunged and probed due to questionable and so-called biased data's being used for this legislation, especially the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission being under the State Department of Health Services.

What about the educational experts on Deaf Education? What about the consequences of long-term financial costs to the state of Wisconsin and the health insurance providers for the coverage of cochlear implant surgery on deaf babies and youngsters?

What about the exact criteria for any deaf babies and youngsters to be fitted with cochlear implant surgery?

Any formal state board to be created to screen out the requests for lifetime alteration surgery, ex. cochlear implant surgery on deaf babies and youngsters without being pressured from the "for profit" industry from doctors to surgeons to the cochlear implant manufacturers?

The recent legislation passage of Senate bill # 27 and House bill # 16 have to be reconsidered due to many unanswered questions regarding "conflict of interests" among the medical industry and other proponents of cochlear implant surgery and audistic individuals seeking to remake the society at large in name of human superiority and ignorance.

Is there any formal channels to be developed for parental counselings without any appearance of human bias and hidden financial interests? Have the parental counselings being included from the deaf advocacy groups on behalf of deaf babies and youngsters for language and self-esteem development?

You, Jack Barr and Darrell Roby please immediately contact the State Attorney General to suspend the legislation due to legal matter on state transparency laws on open meetings and open records.

Wisconsin's Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission did FAIL to consult the given community for their citizenry inputs and participation to address the legislative proposal.

Wisconsin Association of the Deaf (WAD) surely FAILED its given advocacy duties due to passive advocacy among the WAD officers being employed with the state government.

Please feel free to contact me for more advice and strategy how to halt the legislation in its track from being the official law. Here is my email address -

ASLize yours,
Robert L. Mason (RLM)


  1. Thank you for give good advice to them!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. RLMDeaf,
    I removed my previous comment and to add the link so you can see what I was saying.

    Thank you for excellent post!

    Thank you,

  4. I agree with you about the sunshine law and transparency law. It's something the lawyers could look into however they may not see what citizens has to do with whether the insurance company should pay for CI and / or Hearing Aid. In reality, these insurance companies are primarily made of private companies whereas the public does not have much of a say or influence. If the bill required the public to finance or cover CI and / or Hearing Aid then it could be in violation of sunshine law.

    Furthermore I am sure that the citizens had opportunities to be heard at the hearing so it's not exactly a secret or closed door procedure as many of us tried to make it sound. I have seen how some deaf people acted surprised as if the bill sneaked through without their consent. In reality it's been on the table since 2007 and many deaf people in Wisconsin were aware of it last year but did not do very much to prepare a defense for it. Darrell Roby even acknowledged his presence in front of the hearing panel and he acknowledged the fact that he was told that his argument / presentation was way off the line. I feel for him and wished we were aware of the situation so that we all could contribute positively and help prepare them for appropriate response.

  5. Brian M,




    Thanks, too! I will look into your DVTV comment right away after this comment posting. :)

    Dr Hocokan,

    Thank you very much for your comment posting.

    ODHH never notified the Wisconsin deaf community in formal way and set up the public hearing on this proposed legislation.

    Too bad, other deaf advocates and NAD never lift their fingers to give direct advices to Darrell Roby, Jack Barr and other deaf activists how to testify effectively and give info what the legislators want to hear, etc.

    The bill did not clearly state whose ought to be qualified for receiving the cochlear implant surgery.

    If the deaf teenager doesn't want to be fitted with CI, but hir own parents insisted.

    What the private insurance company should do??

    If the elderly 80s deaf lady with severe health problems, decide to get CI surgery?

    What the private insurance company or the state Medicaid office should do??

    Too many gray areas to be ironed out with this bill.

    No counseling sessions being provided by all sides from deaf advocacy groups to physicians within this bill.


  6. Encarb,

    I did check out the DVTV and couldn't find #50588 video along with #328282 comment log.

    The DVTV search said that the #50588 video already was deleted.

    Is that correct or what?


  7. RLMdeaf,

    Really? Ok here's the link

    and my comment number 10 and 11 (I spelled darren wrong!)


  8. Robert:

    I have to say this...It is up to EACH INDIVIDUAL person, deaf or hearing, to be up to date on legislation that is pending that could affect them.

    All states have some way in which pending legislation can be viewed on-line, or they can find out what is out there, or they can contact their elected representatives and share their feelings. As for public hearings, those are only held when there is sufficient movement via email comments, letters, phone calls, and the like to demonstrate that a hearing is needed. If only 10-15 people contact their elected officials, they won't get a public hearing. Believe me, I tried to get at least a public hearing on my captioned movie bill here in Kentucky, and was not able to..That is the reason that in the next legislative session, we plan to be better armed with facts, figures, and testimonials before appearing before elected officials.

    The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has established a study group for this very purpose. I will be blogging more on this when I am able to.

    Eddie Runyon (ThumpaFlash)

  9. Eddie,

    Many thanks for sharing with us about your personal experience with the legislative public hearings.

    No questions about getting prepared with datas, figures and statistical informations.

    I used to work for the GOP U.S. Senator back in 1990s.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    Gotta go now.