McMorris Rodgers: Moving Forward With Life-Changing Technology

Health Care

Communications • June 3, 2015

“Today we are that much closer to seeing the bipartisan Steve Gleason Act become a reality – a reality that means a better life for thousands of families around our country.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after the House Committee on Ways and Means passed S. 984, the Steve Gleason Act during a markup Tuesday. The Steve Gleason Act would ensure that patients can have access to speech generating devices that allow thousands of Americans previously unable to use communication tools like email and text messages. This act also reverses the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services capped rental policies, and ensures eye tracking technology and gaze interaction accessories are covered under Medicare for ALS patients. For patients who are severely disabled, often confined to wheelchairs, these innovations are critical. Similar equipment is used by Steve Gleason, former professional football player with the New Orleans Saints.

“Today we are that much closer to seeing the bipartisan Steve Gleason Act become a reality – a reality that means a better life for thousands of families around our country. The ability to use these devices for not only speaking, but also for accessing email and text, allows patients to communicate with loved ones and doctors in a way they previously could not. The Steve Gleason Act proactively undertakes innovative eye tracking alternatives and speech-generating devices for those who can no longer speak or type, and addresses the placement of these devices under the ‘capped rental’ category. This common-sense legislation offers support to those who have already been challenged by so much. I applaud and thank Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) for his support in bringing this to bill to the House floor, and I look forward to moving this bill through the House with my colleague Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). I remain committed to bringing the Steve Gleason Act to a vote in the House – and I will continue to champion the medical technology and scientific innovation that will save millions of lives.”

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