Thanks to MS activists, we have successfully ...
- Added an aggressive form of MS to qualify for the "Compassionate Allowances Initiative" at the Social Security Administration. This initiative will allow those individuals that qualify to receive Social Security Disability Insurance more quickly than others.
- Established a new federal funding avenue within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) that thus far, has yielded nearly $25 million for MS research. The incredible work of MS activists helped achieve a $1.2 million increase for MS research in the CDMRP from FY 2012 to FY 2013.
- Supported enactment and continued implementation of health care reform that makes access to affordable, comprehensive coverage and care a reality for people with MS and their families.
- Continued funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Program that improves access to quality respite for family caregivers.
- Promoted increased awareness of MS on Capitol Hill by hosting legislative briefings and annually introducing an MS Awareness Week Resolution in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Formed and continue to grow a Congressional Multiple Sclerosis Caucus in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Find out if your legislators have joined.
State and Community Successes
- Louisiana and Texas contain the cost of MS disease modifying therapies during a contract and require transparency in pricing. A Maine state law prohibits prescription drug pricing that exceeds the dollar amount for non-preferred brand drugs, while Delaware made recommendations to limit increasing prescription drug costs. A Vermont state law will prohibit co-insurance pricing for one-year, while Virginia is examining the issue! These successes build upon a 2010 New York state law to prohibit co-insurance pricing for prescription drugs, a rapidly growing insurance practice that requires the consumer to pay a percentage of a medication's cost, rather than a fixed co-payment. Do you have a story to tell about the high cost of your MS disease modifying therapies? Tell us more.
- Rhode Island secured 13 new accessible taxis to serve 17 communities!
- New Hampshire, Illinois and Missouri strengthened accessible parking laws in various ways, including by imposing fines for blocking access aisles and requiring more accessible parking spaces designated for vans.
- Colorado, Connecticut and Virginia provided utility coverage for people with medical conditions who would be adversely impacted by discontinuation of services.
- Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Virginia aim to create or preserve state income tax credits for accessible home modifications that maintain independence in the community.
- New Jersey created an MS Task Force, charged with developing strategies to identify and address the unmet needs of people with MS in the state.
- Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina offer state license plates with the MS logo to raise awareness of MS. To order, drivers can contact their respective chapters.
- State tax forms in Delaware, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin now offer a voluntary designation to benefit MS. To date, more than $1 million has been raised.
- Illinois passed legislation to amend the Illinois Lottery Law and offer instant scratch-off tickets, so far raising more than $3.9 million for MS research. 100% of net proceeds from Mission Move are invested to create a world free of MS.
For updates on these issues or to learn about advocacy success in your state, contact your local chapter of the National MS Society. Find a chapter.