Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Optimism for Activism

As the high from Medicine X comes crashing down I am left with an unbridled spirit of optimism. An optimism that the lofty goals set out by a few can be accomplished to help the many. Most of us never think about what would happen if we were to come down with a catastrophic illness or suffer through a debilitating injury. The problem is that this happens daily. There are roughly 185,000 new amputations each year in the US, that breaks down to roughly 5 people out of 1000. Go to a any professional sports game, there are roughly 25,000 in the crowd, that equals 25 of those people gaining new amputations for various injuries. The issue we have is that if you're unlucky enough to be one of these 25 people and live in one of the 30 states that does not offer prosthetic fairness then you should be prepared for an uphill battle. I know because I fought this battle. Amazingly, I fought this battle and won. I won because I had the power of social media behind me. For those who are new to my blog a brief synopsis. I was denied my prosthetic by an insurance company who does not cover microprocessor knees. After blogging here about my plight, the readers and my brothers and sisters in public safety took to my fight. Together we fought against the insurance juggernaut and forced a change in rhetoric. I am odd in this...sadly, this is not the normal way these stories pan out. No...the way this story normally ends is that the amputee is given a substandard knee that allows them to "function." A word I have come to hate. me this word says that it will work, but barely. If you had a car that just functioned then you'd probably look for a better car, one that not only functions but has the bells and whistles you need to enjoy your ride. So, why wouldn't you want that with something as vital as a prosthetic. No functioning doesn't lend itself to living.

If you look at most insurance protocols for prosthetics you would see that they lump them in the same category as bedside commodes and crutches; they call it "durable medical equipment." Most cap the spending on these items at $2,000, sometimes more, sometimes less. If you're lucky your insurance company will cover a prosthetic but limit you to two for a lifetime. If you have a child who happens to suffer an amputation, depending on age, they could need 10 times the approved amount. This is unacceptable.

Now, lets counter this with a state with prosthetic fairness. Your physician writes you a prescription for a prosthetic that matches your activity level. You get that prosthetic. It's as simple as that...well there will be hoops to jump through. You have to prove why this prosthetic will benefit your life. Trust me. It will and it's easy to prove.

I know. It's not free. It will take some input from everyone. In Kentucky, we looked at the financial impact such a bill would have on the taxpayer. In Kentucky, it would equal out to somewhere between 5-8 cents per person. A negligible increase on your premium.

Now, my goal is not only get this passed in my state, but to get this into the national spotlight. This needs to be passed nationally. We need to come together and push. Call your Senator, Call your Representative, Be proactive...and as I learned at Stanford...Stories change things. Patient stories will be the shoulders that carry this bill. Our voices will be heard, our voices can change the world...

Until next time.


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