Committee Approves Sen. Dodd’s Wheelchair, Medical Equipment Reuse Bill
SACRAMENTO – Legislation advanced today from Sen. Dodd, D-Napa, that would provide refurbished medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers to people with disabilities and seniors, ensuring all Californians have access to the care they need.
“Costs and other barriers can put life-changing medical equipment out of reach for many people,” Sen. Dodd said. “This is happening as serviceable wheelchairs and other goods tend to be discarded after initial use. My bill redirects these essential items to people who need them most, ensuring everyone can live with greater independence and quality of life.”
Every year, thousands of Californians require specialized medical equipment to live healthy, fulfilling lives following injury or disability. In addition to wheelchairs, this equipment includes items such as power scooters and shower chairs. Unfortunately, many people are unable to obtain the equipment, causing needless suffering. This has led to the establishment of redistribution programs such as one in Massachusetts, which reissued 860 pieces of medical equipment in 2017 valued at $1.8 million.
Senate Bill 842 directs the state to create a similar three-year pilot program in Contra Costa, Napa and Solano counties to redistribute durable medical goods to children and adults with disabilities as well as seniors, at no charge. The proposal, previously introduced by former Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Fairfield, is sponsored by the California Senior Legislature. Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, is principal co-author.
It passed the Senate Human Services committee today with overwhelming support.
“As we become aware of the overwhelming amount of medical equipment and supplies headed for the landfill, it is imperative that we work together eliminating waste and putting perfectly good, often unused items to use,” said Yvonne Baginski, senior senator of the California Senior Legislature. “The passage of this bill is wonderful news.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.