Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Here's how it's done...

Here's a story about a nice man in Florida who worked for the city for more than 25 years. A little over a year ago, he lost his leg due to an infection. All he wanted to do after that was go back to work, but his city insurance only covered 1/10th of the cost of a prosthetic leg. He spent over a year asking for a leg. He said that the 10 months not working were "tougher than the surgery."

The prosthetic company gave him a leg made out of used parts but it didn't work very well but he didn't mind too much because he could at least return to work.

Then, compassionate people, people who "put themselves in his shoes" stepped up to the plate and found a solution. They worked with the City, looked into the cost for the City and found that to provide this dedicated worker with the proper prosthetic leg, the one prescribed for him, would cost so little that they increased the coverage and this nice man got the proper leg. He is thrilled to be walking and back to work. "It's like going from a Yugo to a Cadillac," he said of his new leg. "I don't even think. I just go."

In stark contrast we have the State of KS Health Care-less Commission, KS Health Policy Authority and Employee Advisory Committee who, after 18 months of wrangling, claim that it will cost the state a half-million dollars a year to provide complete prosthetic coverage for state employees. They're still dodging prosthetic parity and continue to deny "comfort and convenience" for state employee amputees. They say, "You'll get a Yugo and like it" or "You can have a Cadillac without the motor and by the way, your insurance premiums are going to increase next year."

Well, good for you, City of St. Petersburg! Good for you. You found what all the other states that have passed prosthetic parity into law - that it costs literally pennies to keep people active, working and healthy.