I interrupt this blog with a brief political announcement. I have been careful to avoid discussing several "hot button" issues in my blog thus far, including politics and religion. I understand and respect that everybody has their own views concerning these personal issues. I would never want to unknowingly insult or disrespect anybody by espousing my ideas. My blog was never conceived to be a platform for these issues.
I recognize that the proposed health care reform bill (HR 4872) has been a divisive political issue for citizens of this country. As a disclaimer, I want to let you know that I am a proud supporter of this bill. I recognize that many of my readers may feel differently, and I hope that I am not offending you by addressing this issue. (I hope you continue to read my blog.)
Access to prosthetic care is a paramount issue within the amputee community. I was shocked to discover how many amputees were not using prosthetics. At first, I didn't understand why an amputee would choose not to have a prosthetic. While there is a segment of amputee population who do not want a prosthetic, I have learned that many are living without a prosthetic out of necessity rather than out of any desire.
Most amputees are horribly uninsured. If the insurance covers prosthetics, many times the lifetime cap is reached within the first few years. Often only a portion, as little as 10% of the device(s) is covered. This leaves the new amputee with a bills in excess of $5,000 for a prosthetic. Mounting medical bills from the amputation many times make securing a prosthetic a financially impossible dream.
I don't believe that access to a prosthetic should ever be hindered because of finances. The blue collar worker has just as much of a desire to be mobile and independent as the wall street lawyer. I believe that the mobility and independence afforded by a prosthetic is a right and should not be a privilege .
According to advocates for amputee rights, providing proper prosthetic care for everybody will help to decrease the financial burden on the system.
"Cost savings can also be expected in unemployment insurance, state employment and training programs, rehabilitation and counseling programs and other social welfare systems. It is estimated that every dollar spent on rehabilitation, including prosthetic care, saves more than $11 in disability benefits.
"Nonfiscal benefits include a reduction in the secondary conditions caused by a sedentary lifestyle, less dependence on caregivers, and lowered risk of diabetes-related complications that can lead to additional amputation. In addition, this segment of the population can continue to be contributing members of society instead of becoming dependent on it." (sourced from the www.amputee-coalition.org)
In the proposed legislation, you will find that in subtitle C-Standards Guaranteeing Access to Essential Benefits, Section 122, line 25 "Durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and related supplies" provides a provision for prosthetic care for all.
I don't expect to change anybody's political views on this issue. However, information is a powerful tool. Please consider how this important legislation may impact the lives of thousands of amputees who may not have access to prosthetic care. Providing mobility to thousands of motivated amputees could be a legacy from which we can all be proud!
No more politically motivated blogs--at least for now. I've had my fill of legal jargon this week. Writing about my own adventures and living with Robby Rotten is more fun! Have a good weekend, and thank you for taking the time to learn about this issue.