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Highlights from the Hill March 17, 2016

Proposed House Budget Threatens Non-Defense Discretionary Funding

The House of Representatives Budget Committee has released their budget blueprint for the next ten years. These blueprints outline intended funding for various programs. We are very concerned because non-defense discretionary funding will experience a cut of $877 billion over the next ten years, seriously threatening programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

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We will continue to monitor this budget blueprint and urge Congress to support appropriate funding for programs that help those living with epilepsy and other chronic conditions.


MedPAC Recommends Weakening Access to Care in Medicare

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has issued a recommendation to remove two of the six protected classes in Medicare Part D. While anticonvulsants would remain a protected class, we are deeply concerned by the move to restrict access to physician directed care for the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries. The Epilepsy Foundation strongly opposes any proposals that weaken the six protected classes policy and we have urged MedPAC to reconsider their recommendation. The Partnership for Part D Access, a coalition of which we are a member, and which focuses on preserving the six protected classes policy, issued press release opposing the proposed cuts. You can read the press release and learn more about this issue at www.epilepsy.com/medicare.

Support our advocacy efforts by sending a letter to MedPAC to let them know how important it is to preserve the six protected classes policy to ensure the most vulnerable Medicae beneficiaries have access to their medications. You can take action at http://bit.ly/MedPACAlert.


Epilepsy Foundation Urges Continued Improvements to Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a letter with guidelines for insurers to run their Medicare Advantage and Part D plans in 2017. We joined comment letters by Medicare Access for Patients Rx (MAPRx) and the Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation (CPR) to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding this draft letter. We do support some of the proposals but are also concerned that others would limit access to care for those living with epilepsy and other chronic conditions. You can read the comments letters at www.epilepsy.com/medicare

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