By Ryan Geddie, Government Relations Specialist
This week, Ashlie White, our chief programs officer, and I had the opportunity to travel to New Mexico to advocate for HB131, otherwise known as So New Mexicans Can Move. This legislation, if passed, would guarantee that state insurance plans provide coverage for orthotics and prostheses at a level equivalent to Medicare and create coverage for a second device intended for physical activity. This law would apply to New Mexicans of all ages and would be the most comprehensive prosthetic and orthotic coverage legislation in the nation.
Alongside our coalition partner in this campaign, the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, tireless in-state advocates, and excellent state lawmakers, we secured the passage of HB131 through the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee. This is the first step toward legislation that will change the lives of amputees in New Mexico, and it represents a significant victory for people living with limb loss or limb difference across the country who struggle daily to exercise their right to physical activity.
Now that So New Mexicans Can Move has been passed through the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, it will be sent to the House Health and Human Services Committee, and then to the House floor before going to the New Mexico Senate.
None of this would have been possible without in-state advocates such as para-triathlete Kyle Stepp and mother-of-an-amputee Laura Lewis. Their passion for the right to physical activity is inspiring, and their advocacy and expertise have been and will continue to be instrumental in the success of this legislation.
At the Amputee Coalition, we know physical activity not only is medically necessary for long-term health, but it’s also a right. In conjunction with our federal and insurance fairness advocacy, we intend to pursue legislation like So New Mexicans Can Move in many states, fighting for the rights of people living with limb loss and limb difference across the nation.
We need you to advocate for the rights of amputees in your state! If you haven’t already, become a lead advocate and join a network of leaders working to make the world a better place for amputees through advocacy.