Tampa, Fla. – The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) reached 150 supporters from the U.S. House of Representatives after the legislation was brought up earlier this month in the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee by the bill’s Republican sponsor, Representative Eric Paulsen. This recent action at the committee level, coupled with newly announced support from Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are good news for TROA supporters. Burr is a senior and influential member of the Senate Heath Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Gillibrand led the successful effort in 2010 to establish September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
This critical legislation will provide Medicare beneficiaries with additional treatment tools to help seniors address their overweight and obesity. Specifically, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act would provide CMS with the authority to expand the Medicare benefit for intensive behavioral counseling by allowing additional types of qualified healthcare providers to offer these services. The Act also allows the agency to expand Medicare Part D to provide coverage of FDA-approved prescription drugs for chronic weight management.
“Medicare recipients impacted by the disease of obesity need access to evidence-based treatment options. Obesity is a very complex, multifactorial disease requiring a comprehensive treatment plan. The TROA will provide Medicare recipients and their healthcare providers with meaningful tools to treat and reduce obesity by improving access to obesity screening and counseling services, and FDA-approved prescription drugs for chronic weight management,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO, representative of the TRO Coalition.
The TROA was first introduced in 2013 during the 113th Congress by Representatives Paulsen (R-MN); and Kind (D-WI); and Senators Carper (D-DE) and Cassidy (R-LA). While the legislation received strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, with 121 co-sponsors, the legislation did not progress beyond the committee level last congress. The Coalition is working diligently to increase cosponsors and secure the support needed for passage this year. To learn more about The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act or contact your legislator, please visit www.covermedicalweightloss.com.
About the TRO Coalition:
The TRO Coalition, developed in 2013, is comprised of the leading patient and healthcare professional groups that either treat, or are affected by, the chronic disease of obesity. The goal of the TRO Coalition is to spread awareness of The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act and encourage individuals, organizations and others to support its efforts.