Beto for America
Friday, October 18, 2019

Beto Releases “A Policy for Amanda”

After meeting a woman living with a disability in Tucson, Beto crafted a policy to address the cost of medical diagnostic equipment and ease air travel for people with disabilities
EL PASO, Texas-Beto was inspired by Amanda Parkman, a woman he met in Tucson, Arizona, to develop a plan to address the barriers many individuals with disabilities face, including access to health care and air travel. The full plan can be found here

Amanda shared with Beto that she had been told by insurance companies over and over again that they would not help her pay to fix her power wheelchair. Her story shows that insurance alone is often not enough to cover all of the needs of individuals with disabilities. That’s why Beto has put forth a plan to expand access to medical diagnostic equipment (MDE), with steps that include:
  1. Directing federal agencies to include evaluations of compliance with accessible MDE standards and ADA guidance so that health care providers’ services and facilities are accessible for people with disabilities and those with limited mobility;
  2. Tying Medicare reimbursement to the requirement that providers offer high-quality accessible MDE for their patients and train their staff accordingly;
  3. Encouraging partnerships with providers and affiliated organizations, such as the American Medical Association, to share best practices around accessible MDE procurement and training;
  4. Directing Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to provide research and development funding for universal design. Unlike building entrances with stairs, everyone can utilize ramps — we should apply that same philosophy in universal design to health care services and facilities; and
  5. Increasing provider reimbursement rates for medical practices serving low-income communities by moving Medicaid into Medicare for America, ensuring cost is not an obstacle to the procurement of accessible MDE.
Beto also believes we must do more to address the barriers that people with disabilities, like Amanda, may face when they travel. That’s why Beto has put forth a plan to address barriers to air travel for people with disabilities, that includes:
  1. Directing the Department of Transportation (DOT) to diligently enforce the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), investigating reports of violations;
  2. Directing the DOT to ensure that airlines are providing accurate training for airline personnel, and directing them to create standards and procedures for employees to comply with the ACCA in an effort to end discrimination and ensure safe storage and transport of wheelchairs and mobility aids;
  3. Advocating for an amendment to the ACCA to include a private right of action, so passengers with disabilities have recourse when they believe their rights have been violated by airlines; and
  4. Holding to account the airline industry, as well as providing incentives, so that that air travel meets or exceeds ADA standards.