Locally, our Government Relations Committee sets the Chapter’s legislative priorities. A nonpartisan body, it monitors and advocates for legislation beneficial to the disability community. The Committee’s advocacy efforts include face-to-face meetings with municipal and state lawmakers. It meets quarterly and is comprised of volunteers, including people with MS, their loved ones, legal professionals and other experts.
The Northern California Chapter and MS activists are currently pursuing:
- Health care reform
- Improved community resources
- Disability rights
- Long-term care resources
- Access to quality health care services
- Increased funding for MS research
- Accessible, affordable health insurance
AB 582 (Chesbro) Medi-Cal: Custom Rehabilitation. Position: Support. Read the entire paper here.
AB 582 improves consumer access and continuing maintenance of custom wheelchairs by creating a separate category for complex medical technology in the Medi-Cal fee-for-service and managed care programs that are separate from all other types of durable medical equipment (DME). AB 582 will:
Provide the supports necessary for patients with complex rehabilitation technology needs to stay in their home or community setting, prevent avoidable institutionalization and reduce secondary medical complications by assuring quality and accessible custom wheelchair providers.
Ensure access to appropriate technology and support services for patients using CRT including needed wheelchair repairs and rentals
Improves consumer protections for complex rehabilitation technology services by establishing Medi-Cal provider certification and accreditation standards .
Institute greater cost efficiency for complex rehabilitation technology by allowing for Medi-Cal reimbursement for custom wheelchairs on the entire device not just certain components.
SB 639 (Hernandez) Cost Sharing Limits. Position: Support. Read the entire paper here.
SB 639 will require health insurers to conform to ACA spending caps, including:
Limit out-of-pocket costs to $6,500 for an individual and about $13,000 for a family.
Apply all cost-sharing to the above out-of-pocket limits—including deductibles, co-pays, or co-insurance.
Limit annual insurance deductibles for small employer plans to $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a family.
In Washington, D.C., we are working toward positive legislative change on these priority MS issues. The National Health Care Reform Principles help guide our role in the national health care reform debate and determine the Society’s policy priorities. Full-time staff members work solely on advocacy from our public policy office in Washington, D.C., and from our chapter offices in Northern California. Each year, volunteers from our chapter also attend advocacy action days on Capitol Hill and in Sacramento, bringing our message to lawmakers. Read MS action alerts here.
Learn more about current hot topics in advocacy or for more information, contact Public Policy Director Stewart Ferry at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-800-344-4867, (415) 230-6678.