Carper, Cassidy reintroduce bill to combat obesity with Medicare-funded treatments
Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, both members of the Senate Finance Committee, reintroduced on March 4 legislation to unleash federal Medicare dollars for treatments against obesity, a growing epidemic impacting an estimated 42% of Americans and costing the nation almost $150 billion in additional health care costs every year.
The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act expands Medicare to cover evidence-based obesity treatment options by: allowing centers for Medicare & Medicaid services to expand Medicare Part D coverage to include FDA-approved anti-obesity medications; and expanding the intensive behavioral therapy benefit by allowing additional types of qualified healthcare providers to offer these services.
“The epidemic of obesity is hurting far too many families all across our country. The more than 40% of Americans who suffer from obesity are more vulnerable to conditions like diabetes, heart disease, various cancers and respiratory issues, which are even more dangerous during an unprecedented pandemic,” said Carper. “While the health challenges regarding obesity are significant for individuals, this epidemic is also straining our public health system, imperiling economic growth and threatening our military readiness. While we have made some progress towards combating this problem, we have a long way to go to improve treatment options and affordability. This bipartisan and commonsense bill would finally unleash federal Medicare dollars towards obesity treatments needed to help millions of Americans lead longer and healthier lives.”
Full text of the bill is available at bit.ly/3c0b6jy.