Two representatives soon are expected to introduce the So New Mexicans Can Move Act in the state legislature. Amputee Coalition Chief Programs Officer Ashlie White and Government Relations Specialist Ryan Geddie will be in Santa Fe to testify before the legislature.
KOB TV’s Diana Castillo tells the story of the legislation in an article with video published Jan. 17.
“In New Mexico, with this bill, what we’re ensuring is that we create an equitable form of care for all New Mexicans so we can empower them and protect all New Mexicans who unfortunately had to experience limb loss or limb difference,” says Kyle Stepp, whose left leg was amputated after a downhill mountain biking accident.
“The second part of this bill, which is really exciting, is that our goal is to become the first state in the country to provide coverage for prosthetics for physical activity for all ages. Because, unfortunately, insurance says that physical activity is not medically necessary.”
Rep.-elect Kathleen Cates and Rep. Liz Thomson are sponsors of the bill.
This legislation would mandate that state insurance plans provide coverage for prosthetic and orthotic care at a level that is equivalent to coverage provided under the federal Medicare program. This would protect individuals with limb loss and limb difference from incurring prohibitive out-of-pocket expenses just to be able to move.
It would also mandate that plans provide coverage for an additional orthotic or prosthetic device specifically for the purpose of performing physical activity for all ages, empowering the disability community to access the physical, mental, and social health benefits physical activity provides.
Laura Lewis, whose son was injured in a rock climbing accident, says no one is prepared for the effects of limb loss.
“Disease can happen to anyone, and we can all enter the limb loss community in an instant,” she says.