Mark Hobratschk has been called the "best advocate a disabled person can have." As someone with a so-called "invisible disability", Mark understands all too well that the most difficult part of being disabled often has nothing to do with your physical limitations, but how you are perceived or treated by others.

Mark has used his personal experience to advocate for access to health care for disabled consumers, especially the hearing impaired. Since 1995, he has donated his own time and resources representing persons with hearing loss in their battles with health insurance companies.

Mark refuses to take "no" for an answer when it comes to making sure every qualified cochlear implant candidate has access to the only treatment that can restore their hearing. His landmark advocacy efforts brought the invaluable benefits of hearing to literally thousands of profoundly hearing impaired children and adults. This includes using his Medicaid experience to procure a 1994 federal mandate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that required all state Medicaid programs cover cochlear implant services for children.

Mark has also prevailed in three separate hearings before the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) that the manufacturers insisted could never be won, in the process establishing a new coverage policy for adults (that was recently eliminated by Governor Jan Brewer without manufacturer protest). He also took on blatant discrimination from insurers like Utah Medicaid that insisted that "deafness does not cause pain or suffering."

However, one of Mark's most significant accomplishments was averting a massive denial of cochlear implant speech processing claims by Medicare carriers. After joining the American Speech Language Hearing Association, Mark not only recognized that audiologists had incorrectly billed these claims for years due to a flaw in Medicare rules, but was able to propose new billing codes to resolve the problem, saving hundres of thousands of dollars in recouped payments. Because of his cochlear implant expertise, Mark's contribution to the association was immeasurable as reflected by then ASHA President Larry Higdon's recongition that Mark did "more for our members in the three years [he was] here than has ever been done".