Amputees Hold Lobby Day in Washington, DC, Today
Seeking Support of Prosthetic Parity Act of 2008, Requiring Meaningful
Health Insurance Coverage for Prosthetic Care

Amputees from around the country joined with their families, friends and supporters in Washington, DC, June 16 to support of the Federal Prosthetic Parity Act of 2008, which would require health insurance companies to provide coverage for prosthetic care as they do for all essential medical care.

The event, called "Lobby Day," was organized by the Amputee Coalition of America, an amputee consumer educational organization that seeks to empower individuals who have experienced amputation, or are born with limb differences, through education, support and advocacy.

“Members of Congress are increasingly aware the extent to which health insurers deny many amputees access to artificial limbs that they need to lead active and independent lives,” Paddy Rossbach, CEO of the coalition, says.

She explains that many health insurance companies cap prosthetic care benefits too low for the average person to obtain a prosthesis, and they often impose lifetime caps or eliminate coverage completely.

"The federal prosthetic parity bill will also ensure that the tragedy of children living with the absence of limbs is not compounded by inadequate insurance benefits forcing them to spend the rest of their childhood in wheelchairs when help is readily available," Rossbach says.

Amputees in Washington scheduled meetings with House and Senate members and sought support of the bill, HR 5615, which the coalition reports had bipartisan support from its introduction. 

The bill was authored by Rep Rob Andrews (D-NJ 1st CD) and it provides insurance parity under employer-paid and group health insurance coverage for prosthetic devices and components. Reps Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL 21st CD), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL 25th CD), George Miller (D-CA 7th CD) and Todd Platts (R-PA 19th CD), are original co-sponsors. 

Source: Amputee Coalition of America