Healthcare, mobility, and liberty
With weekly and sometimes daily chaos coming out of Washington, DC—and with the collapse of the latest efforts at healthcare reform that promised to compromise or take care away from millions of people, many of them children with ongoing lower extremity conditions—it might be tempting for healthcare providers to take their eye off the ball. Don’t do it. The voices of providers and their patients contributed largely to the last defeat of Republican-sponsored reforms.
The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association and the Amputee Coalition, for example, held a news conference in late June outlining three priority issues for their patients who, they noted, are at risk for losing “care and the mobility and liberty that comes with that care.” (See “Amputee groups air ACA reform concerns,” LER, July 2017, page 61.)
A direct threat to children’s healthcare is up next. Authorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a long-standing bipartisan program that provides low-cost coverage for six million children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but who cannot afford private insurance, expires in September.
Some lawmakers are considering a CHIP reauthorization bill as a potential vehicle for broader healthcare policy changes—including elements of repeal and replace, and with that, a possible reduction to Medicaid.
Failure to reauthorize the bill—or attaching other harmful legislation—will restrict children’s access to specialty care like O&P and physical therapy services. Children are among the most vulnerable of patients, but, with the right care, have many potentially mobile, healthy years in front of them.
As healthcare providers, you have an influential voice, and know firsthand that mobile, healthy children not only have a far higher quality of life, they are also more likely to become employed adults who contribute to the economic success of their communities and the country.
Use your voice to help ensure all your patients can continue to access the care that provides them maximal independence and liberty in the form of mobility.
By Emily Delzell, Senior Editor
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