The Thiemes are seen here with their award for 2018 Bridgeport Citizens of the Year from the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce.
Al and Beth Thieme and the team at Amigo Mobility International Inc. have championed business and community policies to positively impact the healthcare industry and the state of Michigan. Beth served on a board with former Mackinac Center President Larry Reed, and the Thiemes became supporters of the Center shortly after learning about it, seeking to advance their shared principles.
“Advancing liberty and opportunity for all people through research and education” is Mackinac Center’s mission, and this resonated with the Thiemes. The Thiemes believe in market-based solutions that drive consumer choice and encourage a freer marketplace for healthcare. Their business acumen is derived from solid American work ethic and ingenuity. Few business stories are more all-American than that of Amigo Mobility’s.
Al Thieme founded Amigo Mobility in 1968 with the invention of the first three-wheel, powered mobility vehicle/scooter. The device was named the “Amigo” for being such a friend to people with disabilities, and the powered mobility vehicle/scooter industry was born. Today, Amigo Mobility is one of only a few American Made manufacturers in the power mobility vehicle market.
Large retailers make up the bulk of Amigo’s customer base, but the company continues to adapt to advances in technology and ergonomic design to meet the specialized needs of its customers. When government tries to pick winners and losers and limit Medicare benefits, it presents hurdles for companies like Amigo. What concerns the Amigo team is that under the current national Medicare coverage policy, choices are limited and the most appropriate mobility device may be left out. Currently, it is easier for someone to receive a power wheelchair, which typically costs more, than to receive a mobility scooter. In an Office of the Inspector General Report, six out of 10 power wheelchairs were found to be medically unnecessary. The Amigo team’s goal is to help people receive the best product for their needs while reducing the waste of tax payer dollars.
Many customers in the Great Lakes Bay Region have established strong personal and professional connections with members of the Amigo team. Amigo Mobility has been Improving Lives Through Mobility® for 50 years, and wants to continue this mission well into the future.
The Thiemes’ efforts to question and eliminate government waste make them natural allies of free-market policies. They have built a business founded on helping people regain independence. By supporting the Mackinac Center, they are helping Michiganders find freedom in the space of policy and ideas.