Tampa, Fla. – Today, the leading organizations in the obesity community applauded Senators Carper (D-DE); Cassidy (R-LA); Coons (D-DE), Grassley (R-IA) Heinrich (D-NM); and Murkowski (R-AK) and Representatives Kind (D-WI); and Paulsen (R-MN) for introducing the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2015. The House version was introduced on 5/18/2015 and the Senate version on 6/04/15. 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 will:

This legislation would provide CMS with the authority to expand the Medicare benefit for intensive behavioral counseling by allowing additional types of healthcare providers to offer these services.

It also allows the agency to expand Medicare Part D to provide coverage of FDA-approved prescription drugs for chronic weight management.

Joining Representatives Paulsen and Kind in co-sponsoring the bipartisan legislation in the House are 42 of their colleagues from the House of Representatives, including Reps. Brooks (R-IN), Rangel (D-NY), Tipton (R-CO), Ruiz (D-CA), Hastings (D-FL), Guthrie (R-KY), Pocan (D-WI), Blumenauer (D-OR), Roe (R-TN), Lewis (D-GA), Jenkins (R-KS), Peters (D-CA), Israel (D-NY), Black (R-TN), Cardenas (D-CA), Napolitano (D-CA), Davis (D-IL), Benishek (R-MI), Ribble (R-WI), Murphy (R-PA), Young (R-IN), Olson (R-TX), Lance (R-NJ), Roskam (R-IL), Renacci (R-OH), McGovern (D-MA), Blackburn (R-TN), Bonamici (D-OR), Crowley (D-NY), Sanchez (D-CA), Shimkus (R-IL), Lujan (D-NM), DeFazio (D-OR), Kinzinger (R-IL), Sires (D-NJ), Johnson (R-OH), Kelly (R-PA), Matsui (D-CA), Eshoo (D-CA), Young (R-AK), and Beatty (D-OH).

“The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2015 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 new prescription drugs for chronic weight management. Studies suggest that even a 5-10 percent weight-loss produces clinically significant reductions in risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and others,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

The TROA was first introduced in 2013 during the 113th Congress. 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. To learn more about the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2015, please visit www.obesityaction.org/treat-and-reduce-obesity-act.

About the TROA Coalition
The TROA 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 TROA Coalition is to spread awareness of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act and encourage individuals, organizations and others to support its efforts.