Meet our Team: David Gates

david headshot

David Gates has been representing families and adult consumers in efforts to access 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. 

He has represented children and adults with disabilities in appeals at nearly every level of federal and state court.  He helped draft HB 20 of 1991, the law that created the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”), as well as the regulations implementing the Managed Care Act (Act 68 of 1998). 

Mr. Gates has delivered hundreds of trainings throughout the state, generously sharing his knowledge and expertise with thousands of consumers, providers, and advocates. 

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

In 2009, Mr. Gates received an Excellence Award from the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) for his work with HomeWorks, an independent living homeownership project for people with disabilities.  In 2016, he won an advocacy award from the ABA in PA Initiative and the 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.

Pronouns: He/Him

Role: Senior Counsel

Length of time with PHLP: Thirty years!

What aspect of our mission do you most connect with?: I most connect with the systemic advocacy we engage in.

What has been your proudest moment at PHLP?: I have many: getting the feds to permit the state to provide Medicaid coverage for children with disabilities regardless of parental income (PH-95), passage of the state CHIP Act, passage of the Autism Insurance Law, winning two cases in the PA Supreme Court, and seeing Danna and Marissa win their first court case.

What is your personal motto or mantra?: 'Nuf talk - let's do this.

Share a fun fact about yourself: I was called David O in college for always having a case of Ortliebs beer under my bed.