Your voices have been heard!! As a direct result of the over 100,000 signatures on the White House petition, the White House has informed us that the Medicare Contractors “will not finalize the draft Lower Limb Prostheses Local Coverage Determination (LCD) (DL33787) at this time.” The Amputee Coalition is extremely thankful to all of the individuals who took the time to get engaged and who spoke out against the recent proposal.
The White House also announced that CMS would establish a “Workgroup in 2016, comprised of clinicians, researchers, policy specialists and patient advocates from different federal agencies” to discuss future coverage policies for prosthetic limbs and amputee care. The Amputee Coalition will work hard to ensure the consumer voice is considered by this Workgroup. In addition, the Amputee Coalition is committed to working with amputees, prosthetists, physicians, and other rehabilitation professionals to bring together the external stakeholder perspective on this issue.
This is a win for the limb loss community, and this shows how strong our voice can be when everyone comes together!
But there is still more work to be done. Read more…
Fair Insurance Access
The Amputee Coalition continues to work on the Federal “Fair Insurance for Amputees Act” (formerly the Prosthetic and Orthotic Parity Act). A bill was introduced in the U.S. House (H.R. 3020). Given the current makeup of the 114th Congress, we continue to build relationships with new members, and are approaching past supporters to urge them to support fair insurance access and independence for the limb loss community.
To see the bill and sponsors in the 113th Congress, please see below:
House Insurance Fairness Bill 2013
We finished the 111th Congress with over 30 bi-partisan cosponsors in the House, which is a great success given the harsh climate over health care reform. However, in the 112th Congress, we had a difficult time raising awareness in light of the reform efforts.
It’s important that we continue to contact legislators to ask them to sign on as a cosponsor so we can advance this legislation in the 113th Congress. By building the number of cosponsors, and raising awareness of the issues facing the limb loss community, we have a better chance to hold a committee or subcommittee hearing. This is the next, very important step and we need your help. Visit our Grassroots Advocacy Center, for our sample call scripts and emails and contact your legislators. Share your voice and make a difference for the limb loss community by asking them to support fair insurance access for prosthetics and custom orthotics!
Limb Loss Awareness Month
The Amputee Coalition has identified April as “National Limb Loss Awareness Month.” Since 2012, we’ve seen 42 states sign Gubernatorial Proclamations declaring April as Limb Loss Awareness Month, as well as several cities and communities. In 2012, President Obama signed a letter expressing support for Limb Loss Awareness month. These proclamations have already provided a significant platform for the limb loss community and raise awareness of prevention, education, support, and other issues affecting the limb loss community, as well as provide a time to recognize, celebrate, and support the limb loss community.
Recognition for Limb Loss Awareness Month has taken several forms. In the 111th Congress, we worked with Representative John Duncan from Tennessee to introduce H.Res 1056 which would designate April as National Limb Loss Awareness Month. Although the 112th Congress has decided not to pass resolutions, this was an important initiative for the Amputee Coalition that began our efforts for Limb Loss Awareness Month, and we were able to get bipartisan support from 18 cosponsors in our early efforts.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Issues
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was passed in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. The Amputee Coalition works with other partner organizations and coalitions on a broad array of issues that fall under the ADA, and we work to make sure members of the limb loss community are not discriminated against. If you feel you have been discriminated against based on your disability, please contact the Amputee Coalition’s National Limb Loss Information Center and allow us to help.
Funding for Amputee Programs and Research
The Amputee Coalition operates many programs and services through a collaborative agreement with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and works through a grant within the CDC to provide services for the Limb Loss Resource Center, our Peer Support Network, the Kids Camp, and some of our Publications, and events. No CDC funding is ever used for lobbying purposes. This funding is imperative to providing the resources and services we do, as well as working toward preventative programs and awareness. In addition, we are also working with members of Congress, the National Institute of Health, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense, and other agencies, to encourage investments in funding and research to help support the limb loss community. We are also working with the Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC) and Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) to look at bringing technological advancements forward for members of the military and the general population. You can also help by personally supporting the Amputee Coalition through our secure online donation form so that we can continue to provide the programs and services important to the limb loss community.
Would you like to get more involved?
Go to our Grassroots Advocacy Center, and get involved by contacting your legislators and sharing some of the information above. Your voice and your personal experiences can make a significant difference in each of these initiatives. If you’d like to get involved in your state, go to our State Issues page and get resources and see what’s happening in your state!
How to Contact your Legislators
The Amputee Coalition works on a broad range of Federal issues. This page provides information about how to contact your legislators and a background on several issues which are currently being addressed. You can email the Amputee Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your legislators and share the issues that are affecting you.
Every person is represented by one member of Congress and two U.S. Senators: