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Video: Members of Congress Receive Legislative Awards From National Amputee Organizations
Date:9/16/2009

ion exclusions, and the end of annual and lifetime insurance caps, with a limit on out-of-pocket spending. According to Calhoun, amputees also want a guarantee that they will have fair access to arms and legs.

In May, Rep. Robert E. Andrews introduced the "Prosthetic and Custom Orthotic Parity Act of 2009" (H.R. 2575), which would require employer-paid health plans to provide coverage for prosthetic and custom-fabricated orthotic devices on par with the coverage offered for other medical and surgical services. Sens. Harkin and Snowe co-sponsored a similar prosthetic parity bill in the Senate in 2008 and are working on introducing a new one this year. Reps. Miller and Diaz-Balart also signed onto the House bill as lead sponsors.

"At a time when healthcare costs are rising by about 7 percent annually, the financial hardship on those in need of prosthetic devices is devastating," said Rep. Andrews. "Yet, by expanding coverage for prosthetic devices so that it is on par with other types of essential care, not only will amputees receive necessary treatment and experience better quality of life, but the healthcare industry as a whole will save money. Since prosthetics often dramatically decrease secondary health problems for those in need, the benefits of this coverage far outweigh the costs in the long run."

Though 17 states have passed similar prosthetic parity laws, amputee advocates still say that there needs to be a national law.

"These state laws have helped many people," said Tom Fise, American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association executive director, "but they are not enough. Without a federal law, there will always be amputees who fall through the cracks."

The awards ceremony for House members will be held at 9 a.m. today in the Rayburn House Office Building (Room B-318). The ceremony for Senate members will be held at noon in the Capitol Visitor Center (Room SVC 214).'/>"/>

SOURCE The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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