Join “Access to Mobility Call-In Day” Thursday, October 6, 2005

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Act Today: Join “Access to Mobility Call-In Day” Thursday, October 6, 2005

On Thursday, October 6, 2005, individuals can join “Access to Mobility Call-In Day” by calling 1-877-224-0041 (TOLL FREE). Ask the CapitolOperator to connect you to your Senators and Representatives to ask them tosupport efforts to improve access to mobility devices for people withdisabilities.

Specifically, the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid(ITEM) Coalition suggests you request that your Members of Congress:

* Support all efforts to maintain appropriate access to mobility and other assistive devices;
* Contact CMS and encourage the agency to remove the “in the home” restriction on mobility devices which confined people in need of wheelchairs to their homes; and
* Support any potential legislation to remove the “in the home” restriction should such a fix become necessary.

Over the last several months, the Centers for Medicare and MedicaidServices (CMS) have issued a series of Medicare policies that severelyrestrict access to mobility devices. We need to let Members of Congressknow that CMS’s actions are impacting the health and independence of peoplewith disabilities!

At the heart of the problem is CMS’ commitment to the “in the home”restriction which prevents beneficiaries from receiving devices they needto move past their front doors. Earlier this year, as CMS revised itwheelchair coverage policy, the agency had the opportunity to reconsiderthis restriction.

However, CMS chose to maintain the “in the home” rule, making it clear thatMedicare will not cover wheelchairs that many beneficiaries need to liveindependently and access their communities.

The ITEM Coalition, http://www.itemcoalition.org/ , is encouraging allmembers and friends to participate in an “Access to Mobility Call-In Day.”Throughout the day, individuals are encouraged to call their Senators andRepresentatives and ask them to support efforts to improve access to mobility devices for people with disabilities.

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