Brendan Berger, 617-722-1572;
In a week of heroes, State Sen. Mike Barrett and State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) welcomed another: Jacob Landis, age 24. On “Jacob’s Ride,” Landis is biking across America, hitting every Major League ballpark — from Fenway to Dodger Stadium — to raise $1 million for cochlear implant access and affordability.
“Because Medicaid and private insurance pay so little for surgery and post-op treatment,” Barrett says, “families can end up owing tens of thousands of dollars.” Barrett, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, adds, “Kids do better when they receive implants early on, but when parents have to pay out-of-pocket, surgeries can be prohibitively expensive.”
The cochlear implant has revolutionized treatment for the hard of hearing: it’s the first medical device engineered to replace one of the five human senses. Unlike hearing aids which amplify sound, implants bypass damaged parts of the ear and send substitute signals to the brain. Eldridge has re-filed a bill to ensure that surgery and subsequent therapies for children are covered by all insurance plans.