Our MS activism and government affairs efforts focus on five priorities for people living with MS:
In addition, the National MS Society and MS activists nationwide also are 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. Many members of Congress have joined the Congressional Multiple Sclerosis Caucus. Find out how your Senators or Representative can join (.pdf).
Each year, Congress works on the federal budget - and is just starting this process for Fiscal Year 2014. It is important for MS activists to educate their members of Congress about funding that is important to people with MS and their families. Click here to learn about the status of these funding issues and how to take action.
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.
We help ensure the highest possible quality of life by providing quality, affordable alternatives for long-term care and more resources for caregivers.
We pursue access to health insurance coverage for more people at a more affordable price, including Medicare and Social Security disability benefits.