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U.S. Senator Susan Collins Recognized as National Multiple Sclerosis Society U.S. Senator of the Year

March 1, 2018

The National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society has recognized U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine as its 2017 U.S. Senator of the Year.

Sen. Collins is a member of the Congressional MS Caucus and serves on key committees including the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee and Appropriations Committee. She is a vocal defender of access to affordable healthcare, repeatedly voting against the American Health Care Act, which would have weakened protections and increased costs for people with pre-existing conditions, reduced coverage for millions of Americans and weakened the Medicaid program.

In the recently-enacted Tax Cuts and Reform Act, Senator Collins authored an amendment that will preserve and temporarily increase the ability for people with high medical costs to deduct certain expenses. Sen. Collins is also a leader for family caregivers. During the 115th Congress, she introduced, and Congress passed, the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, which will establish a national coordinated strategy to better support family caregivers. Additionally, she introduced a bill to reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program which provides grants to states to better coordinate and deliver respite services.

“We are proud to recognize Senator Collins as United States Senator of the Year,” said National MS Society President and CEO Cyndi Zagieboylo. “Her brave, unwavering commitment to so many of the causes important to people living with MS is invaluable as we work to end the disease.”
 
“I am honored to be named the National Multiple Sclerosis Society U.S. Senator of the Year,” said Senator Collins.  “The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s vision is a world free of MS, and they have worked hard to help those affected by this disease by providing financial resources, education, and emotional support.  I am proud to support this organization in their efforts.” 
 
In 2016, Senator Collins led a bipartisan investigation into the abrupt and dramatic price increases for prescription drugs whose patents expired long ago.  Last year, bipartisan legislation coauthored by Senator Collins to improve the affordability and accessibility of prescription drugs for patients was signed into law. 

The National MS Society presented Sen. Collins with the U.S. Senator of the Year award during its 27th annual Public Policy Conference, held March 5-7, where more than 300 MS activists from across the country joined together in Washington, D.C. to educate elected officials about the needs of people living with MS. Nominations for the honor are open to the public. Awardees are chosen by the National MS Society Board of Directors.

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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