Reporter's Notebook: Consumers tell how it is at CELA

Thursday, May 24, 2012

WASHINGTON – The consumers at CELA gave lawmakers and staffers real examples of the difference complex rehab can make. 

• Paul Tobin, president and CEO of United Spinal Association, told people on the Hill complex rehab has allowed him to head his national organization. 

“I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today without it,” Tobin said. 

• Fin Bullers, of Kansas City, Mo., said getting people complex rehab technology will get them back out into the workforce. 

“I’m here for 54 million people who need a voice,” said Bullers. “We want to contribute.” 

• Marita Niquette of Southwick, Mass., said having consumers campaign for the bill is important.

“We want to show Congress that if we didn’t have this we’d be stuck in the house,” said Niquette. 

• Robert Melia of Orlando, Fla., told politicians and staffers that having the wrong equipment is like trying to play basketball with sneakers three sizes too big.

“That really hit home (during the visits),” he said. “People don’t understand what this equipment is worth to us.”