The Amputee Coalition on Capitol Hill
Dan Ignaszewski – Director of Government Relations & Marketing
Celebrating the organization’s 30th anniversary this year, the Amputee Coalition is the national consumer organization representing the more than two million Americans living with limb loss. The ACA seeks to reach out to empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy and to promote limb loss prevention. The Amputee Coalition operates the National Limb Loss Resource Center and a nationally recognized peer support program.
The Amputee Coalition serves as the voice of the limb loss community on a variety of issues. When the Amputee Coalition staff first started advocating for patients, we focused on insurance access to prosthetic devices and eliminating arbitrary caps and restrictions on prosthetic care. While we still advocate for this issue at both the state and federal level, we have also expanded our advocacy efforts to ensure all Americans have appropriate access to prosthetic care through private insurance, or through programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA.
As recently as last year, the Amputee Coalition worked closely in partnership with other organizations and the community to halt the Medicare Local Coverage Determination (LCD) that would have drastically impacted access to appropriate prosthetic care for patients. We’re continuing to monitor the situation with the interagency workgroup that was developed to review the LCD, and we’ve also worked to introduce H.R. 5721, the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act of 2016 which would seek to provide more transparency, accountability, and direction for LCD’s in the future so we do not see things like the Medicare LCD on Lower Limb Prosthetics that came out last year.
We have helped lead, in concert with other consumer, professional and industry partners on bills such as the Medicare O&P Improvements Act (S.829, H.R. 1530), the Preserving Access to Modern Prosthetic Limbs Act of 2016 (H.R. 5045), and the Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2015 (H.R. 1516, S. 1013), among others.
The Amputee Coalition regularly advocates on behalf of patients to safeguard and ensure appropriate access to care. We’ve also worked with members of Congress and federal agencies to address the importance of funding and support for research and programs that support the limb loss community, and as a result, the Amputee Coalition has been sharing their recent Roadmap for Stimulating Limb Loss Research and Improving Care Task Force Paper to emphasize this point.
In addition to these legislative priorities, the Amputee Coalition regularly provides comments and recommendations on regulatory policy that impact people’s day-to-day lives. Without being able to provide these comments, healthcare would look very different today for the limb loss community.
During this election season, it’s important to remain an informed voter. The elections ahead of us will result in leaders who will provide guidance and direction in policy that may affect all aspects of your life from healthcare to taxes to foreign affairs, energy, education, the environment and more. We encourage you to look into some of the issues impacting the limb loss community and to talk with your elected officials and those running for office about the importance of issues affecting you. This is a vital time to touch base with candidates and will lay the groundwork for the Amputee Coalition and other organizations to continue the conversation with elected officials from both parties to advocate for the best interest of the limb loss community.
Your investment will make a difference. Invest in the future of care for the limb loss community and donate today.
About the Author: Dan Ignaszewski is responsible for developing the positions of the Amputee Coalition on public policy issues, focusing on integrating public policy development with grassroots organizations. Dan works on federal and state issues, including the Amputee Coalition’s primary legislation, the “Insurance Fairness for Amputees Act,” funding for limb loss initiatives, research, veterans’ issues, and other issues affecting the limb loss community. Additionally, Dan works with the National Sponsor Program and with the Amputee Coalition National Conference. He also markets memberships and publications for professionals. Dan has been with the Coalition since 2008.