Monday, August 20, 2012

An update on the generic only issue

This summer, the National MS Society has been closely watching the development of Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's rules that require insurers to offer brand name prescription drug coverage rather than just coverage of generic drugs. As people with MS know, there is no generic drug to treat MS (the brand name drugs on the market will have a "generic" biosimilar in the future due to the Affordable Care Act) and so an insurance policy without brand name drug coverage is just about meaningless to someone with MS.

We sent out an Action Alert on this issue and 137 people responded - an incredible response, but one that shows how important the issue is to people with MS. MS Activists also spoke at a recent hearing in Olympina on the issue.

Along with other chronic disease organizations like the American Cancer Society and the Arthritis Foundation, we submitted a statement to Commissioner Kreidler in support of the regulations. See that statement here.

Fore more information on the issue, see this blog post or this news article that mentions multiple sclerosis as a reason why the changes needs to be made.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Over 50 Organizations, including the National MS Society, unite for a presidential campaign forum on disabilities

Here's a press release I ran across that may interest many in the MS community:

The National Forum on Disability Issues, scheduled for September 28th in Columbus, Ohio is set to provide presidential and state candidates with the opportunity to provide their positions on a wide variety of disability issues directly to the disability community.

The Forum has also officially launched their new, interactive website, and encourages Americans with disabilities, their families and caregivers, and the organizations that serve them to visit the site and attend the Forum.

This website provides important information for attendees, sponsors, media, and all Americans concerned with where the 2012 Presidential candidates stand on issues critical to the 57 million people with disabilities in this country. The forum will be held from 12:30pm- 3:30pm EST on September 28, 2012 and will feature time slots for the candidates to share their visions for the future of disability policy. President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican Presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney, as well as U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Josh Mandel, the Ohio Senate candidates, have been invited.

“The National Forum on Disability Issues, the only national Presidential event to focus on issues specific to the disability community, is a great opportunity for both President Obama and Governor Romney to make their stances on disability issues clear. Over 14.7 million Americans with disabilities voted in the 2008 election. With 1 out of every 5 Americans living with a disability today, their voices and their votes will play a critical role in the 2012 election,” said Sue Hetrick, Director of Public Policy/The Ability Center and Coordinator of the Ohio Disability Vote Coalition. “We are thrilled to launch our new website, and encourage everyone to visit it, register to attend or watch the webcast, and add your support to our call for the Presidential campaigns to come to Ohio and speak about the issues that matter the most to the disability community.”

The forum is sponsored by over 50 organizations, including:

  • American Association for People with Disabilities
  • American Association on Health and Disability
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • Amputee Coalition
  • Association of Assistive Technology Act Program
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities
  • Bender Consulting
  • Caring Across Generations
  • Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)
  • Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
  • Easter Seals
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Hearing Loss Association of America
  • Hemophilia Federation of America
  • Jewish Federations of North America
  • Jewish Funds for Justice
  • Lutheran Services in America
  • Mosaic
  • National Association for Homecare and Hospice
  • National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA)
  • National Association of States United for Aging and Disability
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • National Council on Aging
  • National Council on Independent Living
  • National Diabetes Association
  • National Disability Rights Network
  • National Down Syndrome Society
  • National Federation of the Blind
  • National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society
  • National Organization on Disability
  • National Youth Leadership Network
  • Paralyzed Veterans of American
  • PHI National
  • Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
  • Sibling Leadership Network
  • The Access Center for Independent Living
  • The Arc of the United States
  • The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation
  • United Cerebral Palsy
  • United Spinal Association
  • Yoshiko Dart

  • CareSource
  • Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio
  • Mary Cariola Children’s Center
  • Ohio Abilities Network
  • Ohio APSE
  • Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries (OAGI)
  • Ohio Disability Vote Coalition
  • Ohio Down Syndrome Advocacy Network (ODAN)
  • Ohio Olmstead Taskforce
  • Ohio SILC
  • The Arc of Ohio
  • The Ohio State University Nisonger Center (UCEDD/LEND)
  • University of Cincinnati UCEDD/LEND

For more information about the forum, please contact Sue Hetrick / 866-575-8055 /

For Sponsorship Information Contact: Kate Josephson / 202-776-0406 /

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Want to know more about the new health care law?

Here's your opportunity. The US Department of Human & Health Services is hosting a teleconference to help you learn about - a great website to help you learn about the Affordable Care Act. Sign up for the August 21st webinar (11am Pacific time) here.

Other webinars can be found here, though most of them are targeted to specific regions.

If you want still more information about the Affordable Care Act, two great websites at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Families USA.

You can also learn about the National MS Society's efforts around health reform on our website.