Madam Speaker, I rise today with my colleagues to introduce the ``Prosthetic and Custom Orthotic Parity Act of 2009 (PCOPA).'' At a time when health care costs are rising by about 7 percent annually, the financial hardship on those in need of prosthetic and custom orthotic devices is devastating. Yet, by expanding coverage for prosthetic and custom orthotic devices so that it is on par with other types of essential care, not only will provide amputees with proper treatment, which will allow them to experience a better quality of life, but save our health care system money in the long-term. That is, prosthetic and orthotic devices often dramatically decrease secondary health problems for those in need of such a device.
The Prosthetic and Custom Orthotic Parity Act would address the significant health insurance inequity that amputees in our society currently face by requiring insurance companies that offer prosthetic and custom orthotic services to provide the same level of coverage as they do for medical and surgical services. Specifically PCOPA would provide coverage of prosthetic and custom orthotic devices, as well as their repair and replacement, under the same terms and conditions applicable to the other medical and surgical benefits provided under the health insurance policy.
Currently, eleven states have addressed this problem and have enacted prosthetic and/or custom orthotic ``parity'' legislation. Furthermore, prosthetic and/or custom orthotic parity legislation has been introduced and is being actively considered in thirty other states.
I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this important piece of legislation that will help put an end to the inequity many Americans who have lost a limb by way of a tragic event as well as those living with cerebral palsy and alike, experience when denied coverage by their insurance company.
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