- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Bionic suit to help paraplegics walk could be ‘Obamacare’ casualty
It’s the stuff of science-fiction books — or, at least, of television “bionic man” fare. But researchers say they now have the technology to let paraplegics walk. The only problem is, they’re not sure how market-friendly they can make it because of “Obamacare” mandates.
Ryan Ferris, a leading researcher for the battery-powered exoskeleton technology said on Fox News on Monday morning that “every aspect was designed to promote independence.” And the news broadcast included a video of a man who lost the use of his legs after a 12-foot fall and hadn’t walked since, wearing the robotic equipment and taking steps.
But the fate of the equipment, estimated to cost about $60,000, hangs in the Obamacare balance.
It could hit the market in less than a year, Fox News reports. Researchers aren’t sure insurance will pay for it, however. And even if insurance pays for it, the device tax included in Obamacare could drive up prices considerably.
“That doesn’t make sense to us,” one official said to Fox News about the additional taxes and costs that could come to the exoskeleton technology. “You don’t want to do anything that will slow down commercialization of a product like this.”
The equipment includes braces for the legs and a device that affixes to the torso.
“It’s really a lot like a legged Segway,” said Michael Goldfarb, an engineer at Vanderbilt University who heads the exoskeleton project there, in a NPR report from last year. “You lean forward to walk forward, lean less forward and cause it to stop, lean back and cause it to sit.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 'In Jesus name, we pray' sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Study: Barbie sours girls' career ambitions while Mrs. Potato Head busts gender roles
- Ted Turner hospitalized in S. America with possible appendicitis
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent 'scared'
- Russia accused of sinking own cruiser to block Ukrainian navy
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- U.S. deploys 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland as exercise in response to Ukraine situation
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Six Senate seats could hinge on Keystone pipeline
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- CURL: The modern GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again