UOAA urges legislators and federal agency officials to implement policy and regulations that benefit patient-centered access to care, strengthen the patient-provider decision-making relationship, and minimize patient out-of-pocket costs.
In conjunction with the Digestive Diseases National Coalition (DDNC) efforts we continue to monitor US healthcare reform and will work to ensure preservation of basic patient protections from the Affordable Care Act including eliminating insurer discrimination against pre-existing conditions, establishing out of pocket maximums for covered services, and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. These protections have made it possible for persons living with an ostomy or continent diversion to obtain insurance coverage and protect them from stratospheric medical bills.
Here is legislation that we support in the 116th Congress:
Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act (S668/HR1570) – This would eliminate cost-sharing for initial and follow-up colorectal cancer screening tests such as removal of polyps for Medicare beneficiaries.
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Signed-On President Letter >>
Update – On Wednesday, January 8, 2020 Representative Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ-10) submitted a statement recognizing the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act. This act was included in the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drugs Cost Now Act (H.R. 3), which passed the House on December 12th. Please see his statement here for more information. The Senate received H.R. 3 on December 16, 2019.
Update (2/18/20)- A fix for this issue was included in the President’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget. Although the President’s budget is non-binding, it’s a nice show of support for the policy change from the Administration. There are now 61 cosponsors on the Senate side and 339 supporters on the House side.
Update (3/5/20) – On March 2nd, the House passed HR. 2339 Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2020, which included a section that waives Medicare Coinsurance for Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests. The Senate received this bill on March 2, 2020.
Update (7/16/20) There are 339 co-sponsors in the House and 61 in the Senate.
Signed-On House Support Letter >>
Signed-On Senate Support Letter >>
Disability Integration Act (DIA) (S117/HR555) – This civil rights bipartisan legislation would require insurance providers to cover community-based health care services for people with disabilities as an alternative to institutionalization. DIA would ensure that people could not be prematurely forced into nursing facilities because they couldn’t get assistance with health-related tasks such as maintenance and use of a stable ostomy.
Update as of June 2020 Bill HR555 now has 237 co-sponsors. The bill still resides in the Subcommittee on Health and Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. Bill S117 now has 36 co-sponsors and has not moved out of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Update as of July 17, 2020 – The end of the 116th Congress is only a few months away. There is not much calendar time left and between summer recesses, an election year and the pandemic, I don’t anticipate further action on this legislation. According to the the organizers of the DIA, they’ve been informed that House leadership has told them that they will not move the bill and it is unlikely that Senate leadership will move this as well. All civil rights bills have multiple introductions in many Congresses prior to passing. They, along with UOAA and other advocates, will continue to work this bill in Congress. However, like all civil rights bills (laws) this will take some time. It will have to be reintroduced in the next Congress.
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