This week, OAC Members living in Connecticut took #OACAction by urging state representatives to support Senate Bill (SB) 977 and (SB) 976, which would require broader health insurance coverage for bariatric and metabolic surgery and FDA-approved anti-obesity medications (AOMs). So far, OAC Members have sent nearly two thousand letters calling on key leaders in Connecticut to support expanding access to care. Thank you to everyone who participated in this impactful action!
More than 30% of Connecticut citizens are affected by obesity. Despite an increased scientific understanding of the disease of obesity, many policymakers and society as a whole continue to view obesity as a lifestyle choice or a personal failing. Further, while some do understand that obesity is a lifelong chronic and complex disease, they believe that all that’s needed is more robust prevention. These attitudes have failed us and have created a system of fractured coverage options for obesity treatments that are only available for a lucky few who live in the right zip code or work for the right employer.
As a nation, we must move to eliminate these random and unscientific barriers to care – both for the long-term and immediate health of those affected by obesity. There are evidence-based and FDA-approved treatments for people with obesity that mitigate the impacts of the disease and improve health outcomes. Our country must acknowledge obesity for the chronic disease that it is and take steps to treat it in the same serious fashion as other chronic disease states such as diabetes and hypertension. It’s time to change the way we care for obesity by supporting a comprehensive and accessible benefit approach. It is time for our nation’s leaders to stand up for coverage of all medically necessary obesity treatment avenues.
If you live in Connecticut, please contact your legislators today and urge them to support expanding care for obesity treatment.
If you do not live in Connecticut, you can still make a difference! The OAC Action Center makes it easy to get involved. Take action by contacting your local representatives and urging them to #StopWeightBias and prioritize obesity care. With just a few clicks, you can initiate meaningful and lasting change in under two minutes.