WASHINGTON, DC – Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) Chair Joe Nadglowski, president and CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition, today released a statement in support of the bipartisan re-introduction of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) in both the House (H.R. 1577) and the Senate (S. 596) by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Tom Reed (R-NY), Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH).
OCAN and its network of obesity advocates applauds the re-introduction of TROA in both the House and Senate by a bi-partisan group of legislators and urges Congress to pass this important legislation as soon as possible.
Obesity, a complex disease impacting more than 40% of Americans—27 million of whom are over age 60—requires a comprehensive approach to both prevention and treatment. A major barrier is lack of coverage for the most effective treatment options, from behavioral therapy to pharmacological interventions.
As we have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people with obesity are at higher risk of more severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death. This risk is particularly disproportionate in communities of color, where higher rates of serious disease and death due to COVID-19 are made significantly worse by higher rates of obesity.
The rate of obesity among Medicare beneficiaries doubled from 1987 to 2002 and nearly doubled again by 2016. TROA extends Medicare coverage to include intensive behavioral therapy for obesity by providers outside of primary care and allows coverage under Medicare’s prescription drug benefit of FDA-approved drugs for obesity treatment or chronic weight management for individuals who are affected by excess weight or obesity.
It is critical that Congress pass this important legislation that will improve obesity prevention and treatment outcomes—now and into the future.”
The Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) is a diverse group of organizations that have come together with the purpose of changing how we perceive and approach the problem of obesity in this nation. The mission of the coalition is to unite and align key obesity stakeholders and the larger obesity community around key obesity-related education, policy and legislative efforts in order to elevate obesity on the national agenda. For more information, visit obesitycareadvocacynetwork.com