A Bill for Low-Vision Devices

Take a look at medical statements from your insurance provider and you’ll see how much services like medication or surgical procedures cost beyond the coverage you receive. Knowing the cost helps you work with your doctor to get the best treatment for chronic illnesses like diabetes, depression, or heart disease.

Add a hearing aid or C-Pap to the mix. These type of medical devices might sometimes fall under Medicaid coverage, dependent on how much money States have budgeted. When I received my first hearing aid back in 2008 while living in Kansas City, MO, I had to pay for it out of pocket. The same was true in Indiana when I bought its replacement. Needless to say, many people who are disabled cannot afford such expenses. The unemployment rate for many working age adults who have low-vision is quite steep and most seniors with low-vision also depend on a fixed monthly income.

Though sitting on opposite sides of the Congressional aisle, Reps. Maloney and Bilirakis have recognized this crucial need and have proposed a bill to explore how Medicare can cover such expenses. As reported by the American Council of the Blind, the bill has gained twenty-five more signatures over the past few days. Besides these government officials, several spokesmen for various agencies for the blind have endorsed it and explained how much its passage would impact the lives of people who have varying degrees of sight loss. You can read the news release here:

https://www.acb.org/news-release-reps-maloney-and-bilirakis-reintroduce-bill-help-visually-impaired-americans-0

The bipartisan nature of this legislation should encourage us in making the case that disability rights and awareness can unify our Federal and State governments in ways that other pressing issues don’t. When advocating with those who are low-vision, we have great cause to approach our leaders in a way that draws attention to the very heart of people’s livelihood. With Medicare coverage for low-vision devices, those who desire to work will be able to work. Those who wish to enjoy retirement using their remaining sight, they will have greater confidence in pursuing their interests while preserving the sight they have.

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