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Washington MS Activists Expand Telehealth and Health Coverage

June 9, 2021

MS Activists had quite a year in Olympia, WA! With the Capitol closed, the virtual session led to unprecedented public participation in the legislative process. Remote testimony was utilized for the first time, allowing multiple MS Activists to testify from across the state without having to travel to Olympia in person. The number of people who registered positions on bills increased from 4,850 in 2019 to almost 32,000 this year! 

MS Activists increased the power of their voices in Olympia through virtual engagement. The number of MS State Action Day participants nearly doubled from past years. MS Activists offered written testimony and registered support for legislation. They connected with lawmakers through email, phone calls, twitter, and 1:1 virtual meetings. Making their voices heard led to our two priority bills passing both chambers and being signed into law - these two bills will go into effect on July 25, 2021:
  • SB 5377 makes is easier for more Washingtonians to access comprehensive health coverage by making marketplace health coverage through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange more affordable for a larger group of people.
  • HB 1196 maintains audio-only telemedicine beyond the current public health crisis, expanding access to people without reliable internet connections, people with mobility issues, people who see a variety of health care professionals, and more.
Learn more about all the bills we worked on this session here

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. 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. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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