David Gates

Senior Attorney

Contact David

David Gates is a Senior Attorney and Director of Policy based in PHLP's Harrisburg office.  He has been representing families and adult consumers in efforts to access services and supports under Medical Assistance and other forms of health insurance and public funding since 1976. 

Prior to joining PHLP in 1991, Mr. Gates worked for the Bucks County Welfare Rights Organization, Bucks County Legal Aid, the late State Sen. Roxanne Jones from Philadelphia, and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) in Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Gates is currently working on three projects funded by the PA Developmental Disabilities Council: housing demonstration, managed care, and participant directed services and services.  He has represented children and adults with disabilities in appeals before the Department of Human Services, the Insurance Department, Common Pleas Court, Commonwealth Court, Superior Court, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Federal District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  He participated in the drafting of HB 20 of 1991 that created the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) and in the drafting of regulations implementing the Managed Care Act (Act 68 of 1998). 

Mr. Gates is a member of the Office of Developmental Programs Services Information Sharing and Advisory Committee.  Previously, he has been a member of various state task forces, boards, and committees including the Autism Task Force, the Bureau of Autism Services’ Advisory Board, the Autism Waiver External Advisory Committee, the Children’s Behavioral Health Task Force, the Home and Community Based Services Stakeholder Planning Team, the Advisory Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities and the Housing Alternatives Workgroup of the Intergovernmental Council on Long Term Care. 

He testified before the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on HB 1150 (D. O’Brien, sponsor) which became the Autism Insurance Law and twice before the Pennsylvania House Human Services Committee in 2013.  After the enactment of the Autism Insurance Law, he served as a consultant to the Department on the implementation of the Act as well as serving on the External Workgroup.  

Since 2009, Mr. Gates has delivered over 100 trainings throughout the state, training over 4,000 consumers, advocates, and providers, and many more before 2009.

He serves on the Board of three organizations: the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), the Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia Family Voices.  

Mr. Gates is a recipient of the Montgomery County ARC Rose Rosa Advocacy Award (1996); the Striving for Excellence Award from PA Legal Services (1999); the PATF annual Advocacy Award (1999); and the Philadelphia Alliance of MH/MR Provider’s annual award (1999). In 2009, Mr. Gates received an Excellence Award from PA Legal Aid Network for his work with HomeWorks, an independent living homeownership project for individuals with disabilities.  In 2016, he won an advocacy award from the ABA in PA Initiative and Champion for Social Justice award from PEAL.  In 2017, he won the Attorney of the Year award from Autism Speaks. In 2018, he received the Villanova Law Alumni Association Award for Public Service and the annual Dennis O’Brien Autism Advocate award from the Office of Specialized Services, Philadelphia School District. In 2019, he received an advocacy award from the Policy and Analytics Center of Drexel University.