According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, approximately 400,000 Americans have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and every week about 200 people are diagnosed. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that invades the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Because the central nervous system plays a crucial role in routine body functions, medication and specialized physical therapy for MS patients are very expensive.
Individuals diagnosed with MS often struggle to secure health insurance coverage. Due to pre-existing condition exclusions, they are often uninsurable, except through Texas’ high-risk insurance pool, which is roughly double the financial burden.
Arnold Public Affairs lobbied on behalf of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to make insurance coverage more affordable for Texans suffering with MS, seeking to create a discount program within the High Risk Insurance Pool, educating Texas Legislators about the disease and the high-risk insurance pool in Texas, and working with policymakers to design the discount program and find a source of funding for it.
In the video below Ellen explains in more detail that education is key to affecting change legislatively. Through education and advocacy Arnold Public Affairs and NMSS were able to garner support for the creation of a discount program that helps Texans of low income to maintain much needed health insurance coverage.