Gleason Act set to expire gets new life

Bi-partisan effort to extend the Steve Gleason act permanently began Tuesday
Updated: May. 16, 2017 at 3:17 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Steve Gleason isn't giving up on his mission to fight ALS at every turn and pave a way for others to get the life-changing equipment he has that lets him speak.

"Two Years ago sweeping changes were made to Medicare. I was disappointed to learn that those changes would include Medicare taking communication devices from people whose only means of communication where those very same devices," Gleason said.

In 2015 Gleason teamed up with lawmakers like Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond to push the Steve Gleason Act, which made it possible for people who need medical equipment like his to finally have a voice.

But that law expires in 2018 and now Scalise and his colleagues are forming their own team to make the Steve Gleason Act a fixture that won't go away.

"This bill will actually make permanent the change in law that we were able to get in 2015 so that from this point going forward without any expiration date anybody with ALS, Parkinson's, or any other disease that impedes their ability to speak for themselves, will be able to have access to the same kind of speech generating device that Steve Gleason has," Scalise said.

"Implementing this law will help ensure that people like myself have not only the tools to communicate with their loved ones but they will also have the tools to be productive members of our nation," Gleason said.

The bill has bipartisan authorship with support from Democrat Cedric Richmond and Republican Steve Scalise in the house and Senator Bill Cassidy in the senate.

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