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Plasma Users Group Takes Stand on Health Reform and Medicare

October 1, 2011

The American Plasma Users Coalition (A-PLUS) comprises patient advocacy groups representing people with hemophilia, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and other conditions who rely on plasma-based products to remain healthy.  NHF is a founding member of the group, which formed a few years ago to coordinate advocacy related to health reform.  We continue to meet regularly to discuss health reform implementation, and other federal and state issues that affect our communities.  For example, last month:

• A-PLUS drafted principles outlining our priorities regarding essential health benefits, services that all health insurance plans offered in the exchange must cover.  The principles focus on the need for individuals to have access to specialists, the full range of therapies and all appropriate sites of care.  A-PLUS will use these principles to evaluate and comment on essential health benefits regulations and in advocacy with Congress and the administration.  The principles are available here.

• A-PLUS sent a letter to the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the so-called “Super Committee” that is charged with recommending policies to reduce federal deficits this fall.  Our letter focused on three issues that are rumored to be under consideration by the committee: reclassification of treatments currently covered in Medicare Part B into Part D; reduction of Medicare Part B reimbursement from Average Sales Price (ASP) +6% and a proposal to eliminate first-dollar coverage in Medigap insurance policies.  We oppose each proposal and described the negative effects that these policies would have on our community.  The letter is availablehere. To learn more about the Super Committee, click here.