Missouri Advocacy Step Therapy Arthritis

Step Therapy Bill Makes Huge Progress in Missouri Legislature with Help of Young Advocates

Update as of June, 2016: A huge victory has occurred in Missouri! House Bill 2029 has been signed by Governor Jay Nixon – thanks to the efforts of our amazing advocates! We are thrilled that Governor Nixon has signed HB 2029 into law. The Arthritis Foundation would like to thank all of the advocates who contacted their legislators and Governor Nixon.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of our amazing Advocates, House Bill 2029 has made tremendous progress through the Missouri legislature.

Championed by Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins, House Bill 2029 will put limits on an insurance industry protocol, known as “step therapy” or “fail first,” which require patients to try and fail medications the insurance provider dictates before they will cover medications as prescribed by their physician. This practice has become pervasive in the insurance industry, even when the prescribed drug is deemed more medically appropriate by the patient’s physician.

HB 2029 passed through the House and Senate.  It is now heading to the Governor’s desk for his signature. 

Throughout the process, our Advocates were there – through emails, phone calls and social media, they let legislators know how important this bill would be to people living with arthritis.

Two families that advocated tirelessly for this bill are Anna and Graci Diggs from Columbia, MO, and Laura and Kasey Bouslaugh from Sedalia, MO.

Anna and her daughter Graci are no strangers to the Arthritis Foundation community. As Advocates, they are actively involved in the Columbia area and Graci, (11-years-old) was the 2015 Jingle Bell Run National Youth Honoree. Starting in January of this year, Anna and Graci testified at a House hearing on HB 2029. They also energized their friends and families through social media posts on their Facebook page, “Team Go Go Graci.”

The sponsor of the bill, Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins, asked Graci to testify at the related Senate hearing – which she gladly did. Kasey Bouslaugh (16-years-old), joined Graci and provided additional testimony. Their message was so powerful that no one from the opposition came forward to testify!

HB 2029 has been garnering media attention. You can view our Arthritis Foundation Advocates in action in this ABC 17 news clip below and at this link. The interview took place right after the Senate Committee voted 9-0 in favor of HB 2029.

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This is a great success for people in Missouri living with arthritis, but we haven’t made it to the finish line yet. We still have work to do, and you can bet that our Advocates will be there every step of the way!

We’ll keep you posted on the progress of HB 2029. Until then,  learn how you can become an Advocate and use your voice to make powerful changes for people living with arthritis.

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