Ohio Congressman Pushes for Medicaid Coverage of Weight-Loss Drugs

by Daisy

Americans on Medicaid are closer to receiving coverage for weight loss treatments nearly a year after an Ohio congressman introduced legislation aimed at expanding access.

Rep. Dr. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, has been advocating for U.S. taxpayers to fund weight-loss drugs through Medicare since he introduced the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act last July. Wenstrup, a physician, has also proposed the Ensuring Access to Critical Breakthrough Products Act, which would provide Medicare patients with four years of temporary coverage for FDA-designated breakthrough devices following approval.


Both pieces of legislation have recently advanced from the House Ways and Means Committee and are now poised for a full House vote.


“As a physician and lawmaker, I have worked to ensure patients can access critical health care treatments they need,” Wenstrup stated. “The House Ways and Means Committee’s actions today to increase access to critical breakthrough medical devices and expand coverage of weight-loss treatments and medications for Medicare beneficiaries are a strong step toward that goal. I look forward to a full House vote so we can continue to work to make America the healthiest nation on the planet.”


The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act aims to provide Medicare Part D coverage for anti-obesity medications to individuals aging into Medicare who are already using these drugs. Additionally, it seeks to reevaluate the National Coverage Determination of Intensive Behavioral Therapy, allowing seniors to be treated through diet and exercise.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Missouri, emphasized the urgency of the legislation, stating, “With two out of three adults in the United States currently obese or overweight, Congress has a responsibility to remove inappropriate barriers to new medications that can help us fight back against the chronic disease epidemic in America that is linked to obesity.”

The proposed acts, if passed, could mark a significant step forward in addressing the obesity epidemic in the United States by expanding access to essential treatments for those on Medicare and Medicaid.


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