The Freedom of Mobility Is A Basic Right

The Freedom of Mobility Is A Basic Right

posted in: MedxMondays, Stanford Medx | 0

“I want you to amputate my leg.”

This isn’t something that most people will say in their lifetime and seriously mean it. The strength this man has makes me feel so proud to have met him. His story has opened my eyes to a whole world of health that I wasn’t even aware of.

Joe gave an ignite talk at Medx this year and talked about the price of mobility. It’s interesting to think about the price and availability of mobility for those who are not fortunate enough to take it for granted. I’ve had my share of insurance battles over the years, but I never thought about what it would be like to have to obtain a limb. There are many times over the course of the last 2 years that I’ve cried and wished that I could get a new leg. Currently, I’m exploring stem cell procedures, but of course insurance doesn’t cover these procedures. I’ve had so many people say to me that they couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t be able to put up a case for them to cover it due to all the costs they could prevent down the road. I can see why they wouldn’t cover stem cell procedures, but to deny someone a limb because of a score THEY gave that person is wrong. Just wrong. Joe’s petition is now closed, but said the following:

We petition the Obama Administration to: Pass Insurance Fairness for all Amputees. 
Mobility is a basic Human Right, Prove it by giving Amputees proper Limbs.

Pass Insurance Fairness for Amputees.

There are currently 2 million amputees in the U.S.. There will be another 185,000 people added to their ranks every year. Without Insurance Fairness these citizens are left to deal with inferior prosthetic limbs that only allow them to ambulate. With the correct prosthetic devices these people will be able to return to their lives prior to their amputation. In turn, returning to being productive members of society. With the current system, insurance companies lump prosthetic limbs into the same category as crutches and bedside commodes. This needs to change and prosthetics need to be covered as their own category. Amputees that meet the proper rating should be able to have the prosthesis their doctor prescribes, not what a company wants to pay for.

Just because the petition is closed doesn’t mean we can’t help spread awareness. Follow Joe on twitter @ProstheticMedic, on his blog and watch his ignite talk below:  


Joe Riffe on The Price of Mobility – ePatient Ignite! Talk

Joe Riffe, ePatient scholar and paramedic, presents at Stanford Medicine X at Stanford University on Saturday, September 6, 2014.


One thing I do know for sure, is Joe’s upbeat positivity will definitely help him get the job done. Joe recently tweeted this quote that I just absolutely love.



Let’s support Joe and his mission to help current and future amputees get the mobility they deserve.
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!