National MS Society Forms Coalition With 10 Other Groups on Obamacare Reform

National MS Society Forms Coalition With 10 Other Groups on Obamacare Reform

As Republicans in Congress prepare to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and 10 other nonpartisan patient groups are urging lawmakers in Washington to keep health insurance affordable, accessible, adequate and understandable for all Americans.

The 11 organizations will evaluate all proposed changes to the ACA, also known as Obamacare, based on a set of Consensus Healthcare Reform Principles announced March 6. In principle, the National MS Society argues that any new plan cannot endanger whatever healthcare coverage Americans already have through their employers, the marketplace, Medicaid or Medicare.

Besides maintaining current plans, the groups insist that any healthcare reform should extend coverage of underinsured people, as well as lower costs and improve healthcare quality for everyone.

More specifically, they say, affordable coverage entails reasonable premiums, cost-sharing solutions and limits on out-of-pocket spending. In addition, patients with pre-existing conditions should not be excluded or have to pay higher premiums, while low-income individuals should have access to adequate financial assistance.

“Three key elements — affordability, accessibility and adequate coverage — must be included in any meaningful proposals to alter the current system,” reads the statement, which also supports keeping current lifetime and annual caps, as well as other measures to protect patients. “These issues have received bipartisan support and are viewed as fundamental in health insurance coverage.”

In addition, the 11 patient organizations argue that “health insurance must be more than a promise of coverage.” In other words, a health insurance plan needs to provide the required benefits with an adequate provider network.

Besides these core principles, the MS Society and its partners state that any healthcare reform proposal must focus on preventing of disease, thereby allowing people to lead healthier lives while cutting healthcare spending.

“We look forward to working with Congress, the administration and the broader healthcare community to achieve these shared goals that are of vital importance to the health of all Americans,” said the statement.

The National MS Society underscored that one of its top priorities remains keeping healthcare coverage accessible, affordable and comprehensive for people with MS. It also supports the use of language that is easily understood by both patients and healthcare providers so patients and healthcare providers can make the best treatment decisions.

 

The 10 other entities involved in this initiative are American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, JDRF, March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Organization for Rare Disorders, and Women Heart: the National Coalition for Women and Heart Disease.

Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.

One comment

  1. Denise says:

    This is wonderful . Keep up the good work in fighting for the sufferers of ms. I have not had private health insurance in 15 years and I have had Ms that long . People are worked to death yet cannot afford health insurance. All the large corporations that had 50 or more workers were supposed to provide insurance to their full time employees when Obama made that law and , to get out of it they cut hours back to part time everywhere . Now those people work 2 part time jobs . Then they came out with Obama care and the single young men especially had to pay big money if they didn’t have coverage yet it cost the most for healthy young men . Everyone was penalized if they didn’t have insurance. That’s not right. Insurance companies need to be forced to lower the cost and then everybody will have it and the insurance companies can make money from more customers rather than the few that have it. That way they won’t have to charge so much for people to obtain it and for premiums. Please keep these problems in mind as well. Thank you so much. There is also the issue of states not expanding their state coverage for the poor and it had something to do with Obama care and it made it harder to get insurance for certain ones. Lack of Insurance for the average American is a big problem especially for those who need it.

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