Sens Jon Tester (D-MT) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) addressed approximately 1,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy on Capitol Hill today as they rallied in support of legislation to increase patient access to rehabilitative care.
Tester and Wicker, sponsors of the Physical Therapist Student Loan Repayment Eligibility Act (S 975), spoke about the importance of adding physical therapist to National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program and recruiting them to rural and underserved areas.
Following the event, rally participants met with their members of Congress to ask them to support S 975 and the House's companion bill HR 1426. They also advocated for the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (HR 1546/S 829), legislation that would repeal the cap on outpatient rehabilitative services for Medicare beneficiaries, and the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act (HR 469). HR 469 includes physical therapists in the multidisciplinary team of licensed health care providers that is qualified to evaluate and manage patients with concussions.
Look for more rally coverage in tomorrow's PT 2011 Daily News and on www.apta.org.
APTA members gather for today's rally.
APTA President Scott Ward, PT, PhD, welcomes participants.
Sen Jon Tester (D-MT) told the crowd, "The work that you’re going to do today is critically important."
Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) spoke about the "huge wave" of baby boomers who are going to need physical therapy.