‘An Arm And A Leg’: Mom Vs. Texas In A Fight To Get Kids’ Hearing Aids Covered

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When Stephanie Wittels Wachs discovered that medical health insurance in Texas didn’t cowl listening to aids for youths, she lobbied to alter Texas legislation. And she received. But the method took greater than two years.

“You’re constantly just like bugging everyone you know, like, ‘Please call! Please text! Please call! Please email!’” Wittels Wachs mentioned. “You just become like this broken record.”

It was a grind, however alongside the way in which, Wittels Wachs discovered stunning allies. The invoice’s sponsor within the state Senate was Lois Kolkhorst, a deep-red Republican with relations who’re deaf.

“You end up getting into bed with people who, you’re like, ‘They’re the worst!’ But you find out they’re not the worst,” Wittels Wachs mentioned.

Season three’s Episode 1 of “An Arm And A Leg” unveils the second when Sen. Kolkhorst made an emotional pitch to her fellow lawmakers. It labored. Texas now requires well being plans to cowl medically crucial listening to aids and cochlear implants for youngsters.

Wittels Wachs has a daughter born hearing-impaired, and he or she was shocked to be taught that the listening to aids her daughter wanted would price $6,000, and never be coated by her medical health insurance.

But her activism didn’t come from monetary want; it got here after a private tragedy. Wittels Wachs’ brother, Harris Wittels — a comic book who wrote for TV comedies like “Parks and Recreation” — died of a heroin overdose across the time Wittels Wachs’ daughter turned 1 yr outdated.

“I just needed a place to put a lot of my inability to bring my brother back, my inability to change the fact that my daughter couldn’t hear,” Wittels Wachs mentioned. “All of these things happened at once that I couldn’t fix.”

Wittels Wachs is the host of “Last Day,” a brand new podcast concerning the opioid disaster and the writer of “Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful,” a memoir about grieving her brother.

Season three is a co-production of Kaiser Health News and Public Road Productions.

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