March 18, 2011
House Insurance Committee Unanimously Passes House Bill 1405
On Tuesday evening, the House Insurance Committee voted 9-0 to approve HB 1405. Representative Smithee, chairman of the committee and author of the bill, championed this effort help Texans living with a chronic illness, like MS, budget for the cost of their medications. The legislation extends protections already in law that require health plans to maintain prescription drug coverage for the life of the annual health insurance contract in large employer plans to small business and individual coverage.
“We are incredibly grateful to Chairman Smithee for his leadership on this bill and for recognizing the importance of this issue” said Mark Neagli Regional Vice President for the National MS Society, Lone Star.
“This legislation allows Texans to budget for their health care costs and give them confidence in their coverage—something that’s especially important to people living with MS,” said Neagli.
A special thanks to activist Tracy Brinton who traveled from Ft. Worth to Austin to testify for HB 1405.
Congratulations to all our MS Activists who have shared their stories and brought attention to this important issue.
- What’s the next step? The bill has been referred to the Calendars committee, which will decide when the bill will be heard on the House floor. Keep your eye out for Action Alerts on this bill. We’ll need your help seeking further support for this legislation!
MS Awareness Week Recognized in the TX House of Representatives
Thank you to State Representative Mark Shelton, for authoring a resolution to recognize MS Awareness Week in Texas! Here’s an excerpt:
"WHEREAS, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Lone Star is a community of Texans who are committed to doing something about MS now; they support programs and services to enhance the lives of people with MS, raise funds and awareness through Bike MS and Walk MS events, and invest in research toward a cure for the disease…"
- Read the full resolution (HR 641) here.
- To watch the resolution, click here, select the 3/14/2011 link, and fast-forward to 13:00.
Picture this: MS activists in action!
This week, MS activists across Texas made an impact in their communities during MS Awareness Week (MSAW)! Using a wide variety of tools and actions, they brought attention to the MS community and the issues affecting people living with MS.
- In Hays County, Linda Coker coordinated a proclamation to recognize MS Awareness Week by the County Commissioners.
- In Tarrant County, Jodi Lee Ryan rode her bike every day to raise awareness. She and other activists were also present for a proclamation at Arlington City Hall. Read more about Jodi here.
- Beth Price handed out flyers and orange napkins at restaurants to bring attention to MSAW in Amarillo, TX.
- Teresa Wynne hosted an information table at the YMCA and supported Jodi Lee Ryan’s rides in the Arlington area.
- Audra Laminack raised awareness at her work place by bringing in orange-colored treats for her co-workers, sending a daily email with MS facts, and sharing brochures in their break room.
- Howard Adams arranged an interview with a Lubbock radio station to promote MSAW.
- Donna Gosbee was present for a proclamation honoring MSAW, presented by the Mayor of Commerce, TX. Donna also staffed a table with MS information.
These are just some of the many efforts made by activists during MSAW. Thanks for your hard work!
Have you seen our Flickr page? Visit MS Activist Texas on Flickr to view photos of MS Awareness Week activities, our Texas and Washington, D.C. policy conferences, and more! You can also upload your own photos to share with the MS activism community. You can also visit our Facebook page to share your experiences and photos.
MS Awareness Week isn’t over yet.
It’s not too late to “go orange.” Need some last minute ideas?
- Wear orange every day this weekend.
- Use Facebook to share facts about MS and our legislative efforts.
- Send a letter to your state legislators to let them know about MS Awareness Week.
- Take a bowl of oranges and flyers with MS facts to a local business, place of worship, or other location. Display a sign, “Orange You Curious?”
- More ideas and talking points can be found here.
Want to join our movement at the Texas Capitol?
Contact your Government Affairs Coordinator, Linnea Nasman, at (512) 340-2711 or at firstname.lastname@example.org