No sooner does the American Medical Association declare obesity a disease than lawmakers file bills in Congress to have it covered by Medicare.
The AMA Tuesday voted to give obesity the status of a disease, according to Reuters, and recommends physicians and payors ”recognize obesity as a complex disorder.”
On Wednesday members from both houses of Congress introduced bills to require Medicare to cover prescription drugs for weight management and make weight-loss counseling more available, reports Reuters. The bills would “allow more providers to offer intensive behavioral counseling for obese patients, as well as require [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] to emphasize the service to its beneficiaries,” the news service reported.
The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act was introduced in the Senate by Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and in the House of Representatives by Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.)