Moving Forward With Life-Changing Technology

“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 (WA-05) today praised the passage of S. 984, the Steve Gleason Act by the House Committee on Ways and Means. Named after Spokane native Steve Gleason, 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 legislation 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. 

Rep. McMorris Rodgers released the following statement today:

“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 in Eastern Washington and 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 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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