SACRAMENTO – Sen. Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation to 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.
“Access to life-changing medical equipment is often out of reach because of costs and other barriers,” Sen. Dodd said. “At the same time, serviceable wheelchairs and other goods tend to be discarded after initial use. This bill will redirect 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.
Sen. Dodd’s bill, 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.
“Recycling medical equipment and supplies is an important step in keeping these perfectly usable, sometimes new items out of our local landfills,” said Yvonne Baginski, senior senator of the California Senior Legislature. “Establishing a reliable network of free supplies that everyone can access at any time will not only help people in need but save money in the health care system overall.”
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.