Our MS activism and government affairs efforts focus on the following areas:
MS activists nationwide are also involved throughout the federal budget process (.pdf) to ensure that programs and activities that benefit individuals living with MS and their families receive the funding they deserve. Congress has started working on the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and this year, MS activists are stressing the importance of MS research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), as well as funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Click here to learn about the status of these funding issues.
We actively pursue public funding for MS-related biomedical, rehabilitative, and stem cell research. That includes securing funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).
- NIH Funding Position (.pdf)
- Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Position (.pdf)
- The National MS Society's Statement on Stem Cell Research (.pdf)
MS activists work relentlessly to advocate for health care that ensures that the complex needs of people living with MS are addressed. When the health care reform debate was starting, a broad-based group of MS activists, including many living with MS, developed the National MS Society’s Health Care Reform Principles. These bold and broad-based principles were a blueprint for the Society’s advocacy efforts during the health care reform debate which resulted in passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010. Many key elements of the Society's health care reform principles are now part of the federal law including:
- Prohibiting discrimination against an individual based on pre-existing health conditions;
- Placing limitations on out-of-pocket costs;
- Increasing access to home- and community-based services;
- Expanding the Medicaid program;
- Providing subsidies to those who cannot afford coverage; and
- Eliminating lifetime limits on the amount of coverage a person may receive.
For questions about how the health care reform law affects you, click here.
For people living with MS and other disabilities, many obstacles can inhibit quality of life and community participation. We work to remove barriers to physical accessibility, prevent discrimination, and sustain independence.
Quality health care has no benefit to people with MS, if it is not affordable. We seek policies and programs that can make healthcare services, including the cost of prescription MS therapies, more affordable.
- Funding for the Food and Drug Administration Position (.pdf)
- Medicare Improvement Standard Settlement Fact Sheet (.pdf)
We help ensure the highest possible quality of life by providing quality, affordable alternatives for long-term care and more resources for caregivers.
- Lifespan Respite Care Program Position (.pdf) Click here for a personal story about the positive impact of the Lifespan Respite Care Program.
- Testimony submitted to the Long-term Care Commission
We pursue access to health insurance coverage for more people at a more affordable price, including Medicare and Social Security disability benefits.