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Adam Lane: Advocating for Better Insurance Coverage & Access for People With Disabilities
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Adam Lane: Advocating for Better Insurance Coverage & Access for People With Disabilities

Adam Lane will join United Spinal Association members from around the country in Washington, D.C., on June 23-26, for the eighth annual Roll on Capitol Hill.

Roll on Capitol Hill is a yearly legislative advocacy event where people from the SCI community take over our nation’s capital to educate legislators on the issues that affect them & advocate for policies to help them.

Despite being relatively healthy with a good job and great insurance benefits, Adam Lane finds his access to complex rehab technology dwindling and the cost of managing his own healthcare as a T10-11 paraplegic rising.

“Catheters have been a big expense. Sometimes they’re covered by my private insurance and sometimes they’re not. I have a baclofen pump for my spasticity and it’s very expensive to refill every year. Every time you see a doctor there’s a co-pay, so I can spend $1,000 or $2,000 for my annual follow-up visits,” says Lane.

This is one of the reasons the former paramedic and current mobility specialist is returning to the Roll on Capitol Hill. He also has concerns regarding access to the built environment. He lived in Kansas City, Missouri, and says it was quite accessible, “But it’s been eye-opening moving to Oklahoma and seeing the lack of accessibility in public spaces. Even new projects aren’t entirely accessible. They just opened a new streetcar track in Oklahoma City and only 16 of the 20 streetcars meet ADA compliance.”

Tired of being an afterthought, Lane hopes to talk to his representatives about the importance of including those with disabilities when it comes to infrastructure planning. He believes many of the accessibility issues in Oklahoma City could have been easily rectified if decision makers had put more thought into them or just included people who use wheelchairs in finding creative solutions.

“People think we are being overly sensitive when all we want is to use the public facilities that are available to us. We need to be able to be there, on the ground, so we’re not looked at as some whiny people looking to create causes and hurt small businesses. We just want to go where everyone else goes — it’s vitally important,” says Lane.

Though he has seen an ebb and flow of positive legislation around disability issues since he last attended the Roll on Capitol Hill, he still believes in the importance of direct political action.

“The whole reason I got involved with United Spinal Association is because I had a very supportive network and very good insurance prior to my injury and I realize not everybody has that, so I believe it’s my responsibility to ensure others get the kind of benefits and support that I’ve been able to reap,” Lane said. 

Image credit: Photo by Author

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