Bill McLellan, Jeff Dameral (Chairman), Jean Freeman (Secretary), Jim Weber.
Last Tuesday, activists from the Missouri Coalition for People with Limb Loss visited Jefferson City for appointments with two Republican Senators. Senator Kevin Engler, Majority Whip, and Senator Scott Rupp both expressed sincere support for prosthetic parity. They did not know and could not believe that insurance companies in Missouri claim to cover prosthetic limbs while capping coverage at less than a fourth of what they actually cost.
While Republicans generally have a hard time with insurance mandates, they agreed that prosthetic parity is not a traditional mandate. It simply requires insurance companies to cover what they claim to cover and stop taking advantage of employers and individuals who have no idea how much a prosthesis costs. Senators Rupp and Engler, as well as other Representatives we met with in the hallways of the State Capitol, want working Missourians who tragically and suddenly loose limbs to be able to return to work instead of becoming dependent on Medicaid.
It looks like prosthetic parity has broad bi-paritisan support in Missouri, but we are still looking for a Republican Senator and Representative who has the time and dedication to sponsor our bill in their houses of Congress. It takes more than sincere support; we need to become a priority on the 2008 legislative agenda, and for that to happen, individuals across the state need to contact their Senators and Representatives and write letters to the editors of their local newspapers in support of prosthetic parity legislation.
Most persuasive are the personal stories of working Missourians like Jeff and Jean who lead the Missouri Coalition, real people who have suffered from hidden caps on prosthetic coverage.