APPLL Update: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Move Toward Parity

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By Morgan Sheets

The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) continues to organize in states that are interested in introducing bills in the 2007 session. We have meetings coming up in Oregon, Florida, and Tennessee. At our national conference in Minnesota we also met with people from Georgia and Washington about launching bills. In other states bills continue to progress.

The New Jersey Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee heard A1011 on June 12. After testimony from patients, prosthetists, and ACA staff, the bill passed out of committee. The next step is a floor vote, which is likely to occur after the summer recess.

HB 2718, a bill for prosthetic coverage in Pennsylvania, was introduced on June 5 and was referred to the Committee on Health & Human Services the next day. We are working to push for public hearing before the 2006 session adjourns.

Rhode Island appears to be just days away from putting its prosthetic parity bill into law. HB 7020 and SB 2176 were introduced early in the year. Both bills would require coverage of orthotics and prosthetics.

The bill passed out of the House on May 31. The Senate version was referred to the Health & Human Services committee at the beginning of June. There was some concern from Rhode Island activists that the bill might get stuck at this stage, given the committee is a tough place for mandates, even one with such strong support and solid evidence demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of prosthetic provision. But on June 19, the committee recommended passage of the bill, and a couple of days later the full Senate passed it.

An amendment was made to the Senate version, which added a few extra steps to the final stage, but after many years of hard work by a strong coalition of groups and individuals, it looks like the bill will go into law by the beginning of July.

Morgan Sheets is the national campaign director for APPLL. She can be reached at