Summer Fun...Parity Style

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By Morgan Sheets

As the weather heats up, so does the fight for prosthetic parity. Many activists are using this time to increase the momentum behind the Amputee Coalition of Americas (ACA) initiatives to pass legislation that will create a consistent standard for prosthetic coverage.

After a very successful federal lobby day in June, many activists are setting up meetings with members of Congress in their district offices while they are on recess. Members of Congress head out on August 4 and will be in their districts until September 7 for their summer district work period. This is the perfect opportunity to act locally by making a call, setting up an appointment, or paying a visit to one of your local offices.

Many of the state campaign committees are keeping busy this summer. Maryland, Utah, Nebraska, and Virginia are working on collecting parity-related data and statistics to strengthen their push during the next legislative session, while North Carolina and Arizona, which are new to this initiative, are coordinating community meetings to raise awareness and build support among local prosthetists, amputees, and their friends and families.

The Missouri campaign committee, known as the Missouri Coalition for People with Limb Loss, is holding a summer barbeque and washer toss on August 9 in Des Peres Park. The barbeque is one of two fundraisers the committee is hosting in preparation for the next legislative session.

Even though it is tempting to lounge on the beach during the summer, the ACA is thankful for the many activists who are continuing their hard work to pass legislation protecting access to care. States like Indiana and New Jersey did not rest last year, and it paid off when their bills were signed into law. We are confident that the hard work local supporters are investing now will be worth it.

Morgan Sheets is the national advocacy director for ACAs Action Plan for People with Limb Loss (APPLL) initiative. She can be reached at . For more information, visit www.amputee-coalition.org/advocacy/index.html .