Emergency Preparedness Bills Re-Introduce to Congress
August 10, 2021
Last week, the Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion (REAADI) for Disasters Act and the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA) were re-introduced. Both REAADI (S. 2658) and DRMA (S. 2646) were introduced in the U.S. Senate by MS Caucus Chair, Senator Casey (D-PA). In the U.S. House of Representatives, REAADI (H.R. 4938) was introduce by Representative Langevin (D-RI-2) and DRMA (H.R. 4937) was introduced by Rep. Panetta (D – CA- 20).
REAADI creates a network of centers focused on research, training and technical assistance to assist states and localities to better involve and support people with disabilities and older adults during times of disasters. It establishes a National Commission on Disability Rights and Disasters to study the needs of individuals with disabilities, older adults and others with access and functional needs. It requires a review of the spending of disaster funds to ensure people with disabilities and older adults have access to services, and that buildings and structures reconstructed following disasters are accessible. The bill also requires the Department of Justice to examine how civil rights of people with disabilities and older adults are considered during and after disasters. DRMA would ensure individuals and families who have been displaced to other states by natural disasters can continue to access their Medicaid-supported services.
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Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.