OAC Applauds Mississippi Legislators and Governor Barbour for Their Efforts in Providing Access to Obesity Management Services

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2009

For More Information:
James Zervios
Director of Communications
(800) 717-3117

Tampa, Fla. – On April 28, 2009, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour signed HB1530 into law, which provides medical treatment for state and school employees affected by obesity and morbid obesity. The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) would like to thank all the individuals involved with this issue for their proactive thinking in enacting HB1530. Providing Mississippi state employees with the tools needed to address their weight, improve their quality of health and life and lower the costs of long-term healthcare is a step in the right direction for the state of Mississippi.

“This is a win for the employees and citizens of Mississippi. The state of Mississippi leads the United States in obesity rates and we are very pleased to see efforts in this state to treat those already affected by obesity. It is our hope that other states will follow Mississippi’s lead if they have not already adopted obesity treatment coverage for their employees,” said Joseph Nadglowski, Jr., OAC President and CEO.

HB 1530 requires the state employee health plan to provide coverage of obesity treatments including medical weight management and the testing of bariatric surgery in a limited number of employees. As obesity rates throughout the United States continue to rise, the OAC encourages other states to utilize the same forward-thinking approach as Mississippi in addressing their state’s health issues and concerns. The OAC believes that it will take a combination of both prevention and treatment efforts to control the obesity epidemic. The OAC welcomes the opportunity to work with other states wishing to improve prevention efforts, as well as access to obesity management services.

The OAC would like to thank the following Mississippi elected officials for their efforts in making HB 1530 a reality; Governor Hailey Barbour, Chairman of Public Health and Human Services Committee Rep. D. Stephen Holland, Rep. John Read, Chairman of Public Health and Welfare Sen. Hob Bryan and Sen. Terry C. Burton.

To view a photo from today’s signing, please click here.

About the OAC
The OAC is a nonprofit National charity dedicated to helping those affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to bring together individuals struggling with weight issues and provide educational resources and advocacy tools.

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