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Patient-Advocacy Organizations’ Request to Incoming Administration: Please Support High-Quality Affordable Health Care

December 14, 2016

The National MS Society has joined a coalition of 73 organizations that advocate on behalf of people with chronic, serious and life-threatening diseases in a letter to President-elect Trump and Congressional leadership. The letter explains the critical role that high quality and affordable health insurance plays in helping our communities’ access essential treatments and care and expressed our desire to work together in creating a health care system that benefits all Americans, especially these vulnerable populations. The National MS Society served on the coalition's steering committee and was one of the first organizations to sign the letter.

The letter states:

Dear President-Elect Trump: 

The next four years present an opportunity to build a health policy agenda for all Americans. We write on behalf of the millions of Americans living with chronic, serious and life-threatening diseases who need access to affordable health insurance and quality health care. 

The individuals we represent have daily health care demands that can span the course of a lifetime. Every day, this population grapples with managing their health needs while navigating complex insurance plans within a fragmented delivery system. 

Americans who rely heavily on the health care system must be assured of adequate and affordable insurance that covers their health care needs. The high cost of care and inadequate insurance has led many to skip or delay care. They deserve a health care system that will help enable them to lead longer, healthier lives. 

Policies that expand access to coverage, such as those that prevent preexisting condition exclusions and allow young people to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26, are critically important to this population. These policies alone, however, are not enough to ensure meaningful access to health care. 

We look forward to working with you and your administration to ensure that the needs of the patients we represent are fully considered as the health insurance and health care systems are reevaluated.

Congressional leadership has expressed that health care reform will be a top priority in the 2017. People living with MS count on health care coverage to access necessary treatments and care. The Society also signed onto the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities letter to Congress which opposed the repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. On January 5, 2017 the Society joined cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease advocates in expressing concern about the preexisting health condition clause of the Adorable Care Act in a third letter to CongressThe letter urged congress to retain these lifesaving protections as they move forward with efforts to repeal, modify, or replace the Affordable Care Act. The Society also joined the aging and disability communities in a letter to House and Senate leadership outlining numerous provisions that strengthen benefits for older Americans and people with disabilities through Medicare and Medicaid.

The National MS Society continues to work in coalition with other organizations that advocate on behalf of people with chronic, serious and life-threatening diseases and disabilities to educate the incoming administration and Congress on the unique needs of our communities. 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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