Home - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Skip to navigation Skip to content

Advocacy

CAN Advocacy Action Alert Button

CAN MS Activist

Join the MS Action Alert Network, the center for advocacy at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Together, we represent the interests of people with MS as important policy decisions are made in both the public and private sectors.

Our advocacy is focused on: federal funding for MS research; quality health care; long-term care; disability rights; and health insurance and prescription drug coverage. The MS Action Network works on these important issues at the federal, state and local levels

You can stay up to date on federal MS legislative and regulatory issues on the new “I’m an MS activist” blog.

http://msactivist.blogspot.com/

Go ahead and share with others.  Send to your MS activists, post a link on your Web site, or include in your e-mail signature.

Daily updates include news and action items, such as recent testimony on Capitol Hill, legislative happenings, and events with MS activists. Check it out today.



What's New
Health care reform is one of the most pressing domestic issues in America today. In July 2008, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society adopted new National Health Care Reform Principles to help shape the policies that impact the lives of people with multiple sclerosis. As a Society, we will work strategically to make these issues national priorities in the 2008 election and in the next administration.

Download the Health Care Reform Principles.

To assist in understanding the principles, download the Health Care Reform Principles glossary.


Our History

For more than 55 years, the National MS Society has been one thing people with MS can count on: on a personal level and in the public arena. In 1946 — before advocacy was a household word — the National MS Society began advocating for people with multiple sclerosis. Our first victory came four years later: in 1950, Congress established the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Work at NINDS impacts millions of Americans and it receives over $1.3 billion in federal funds annually. Nearly $60 million of that money goes directly to MS research.

Back to Top


Advocacy Priorities
The Society continues to advocate for research moneys and the healthcare rights of people with MS. We strive to promote public policy in the best interest of the disability community. Whether it’s the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Ticket To Work Act, or ongoing budget increases at the National Institutes of Health, the Society’s integrated nationwide advocacy has been crucial.
We strongly support the following:
  • Prescription coverage of the MS drugs
  • Home- and community-based long-term care
  • Healthcare reform and patients’ rights
  • Funding for Social Security, Medicare, and Medi-Cal
  • Work incentives and other programs that keep people with disabilities
    employed
  • Increased funding for the National Institutes of Health
  • Housing, transportation, and other services that support independent
    living

Full-time staff members work solely on advocacy from our public policy office in Washington, DC and from our chapter offices in Northern California. Each year, volunteers from our chapter also attend advocacy action days on Capitol Hill and in Sacramento, bringing our message to lawmakers.

For more information, contact Stewart Ferry via email or at 1-800-FIGHT MS, (415) 230-6677.

Back to Top


Government Relations Committee
Locally, our Government Relations Committee sets the Chapter’s legislative priorities. A nonpartisan body, it monitors and advocates for legislation beneficial to the disability community.

The Committee’s advocacy efforts include face-to-face meetings with municipal and state lawmakers. It meets quarterly and is comprised of volunteers, including people with MS, their loved ones, legal professionals, and other experts.

You can help! For more information, contact Stewart Ferry via email or at 1-800-FIGHT MS, (415) 230-6677.

Back to Top


MS Action Alert Network
The MS Action Alert Network is the center for advocacy at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  Together, we represent the interests of people with MS as important policy decisions are made in both the public and private sectors. Our advocacy is focused on: federal funding for MS research; quality health care; long-term care; disability rights; and health insurance and prescription drug coverage. The MS Action Network works on these important issues at the federal, state and local levels.

Join the National MS Society’s MS Action Alert Network. It’s a simple way to influence the governmental process. People with MS and their friends and relatives comprise this grassroots lobbying network, including more than 350 of your neighbors in northern California.

Members of the MS Action Network merely send a few form letters each year to their local, state, and federal legislators. Yet the commitment of members nationwide makes the National MS Society one of America’s most respected voices on healthcare issues.  Remember that you are a constituent and a voter.  Every voice counts!

 

Back to Top


Multiple Sclerosis California Action Network (MS-CAN)
Our MS Action Network and the Government Relations Committee work in concert with MS-CAN, the Multiple Sclerosis California Action Network. MS-CAN is an advocacy coalition formed by the six Society chapters serving the Golden State . It coordinates a unified, statewide response to political issues of concern to people with MS.

Chapters engage in letter-writing and telephone campaigns, as well as face-to-face meetings with state and local officials. Their grassroots efforts are essential to guarding the rights of people with disabilities. 

Priority issues for 2008 include:

  • Assured availability and affordability of public and private sector health insurance plans for all needed MS treatments and therapies
  • Increased access to affordable and community-based long-term care options for the 20-25% of individuals with MS who need long-term care at some point during their illness
  • Access to adequate, consistent and affordable drug coverage policies, and access guaranteed for all medically necessary prescription drugs
  • Continued enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to guarantee full and equal access to public and private services and employment for disabled Americans.
  • Fully funding the MS Research at the National Institute for Health (NIH) 

Back to Top


Cal-Neuro Alliance
The Chapter proudly played a pivotal role in founding the California Neuro Alliance. This coalition represents Californians affected by neurological conditions, their advocates, and their physicians. The mission of the California Neuro Alliance is to promote access to quality health care through education, public awareness, and advocacy. 
Organizations participating in the Cal-Neuro Alliance include the following respected agencies:

Back to Top


Legislative Resource Center
Click here to read the Issue Paper on Medi-Cal managed care. For more information on the Cal-Neuro Alliance, contact Stewart Ferry via email or at 1-800-FIGHT MS, (415) 230-6677.

Read the MS-CAN’s Legislative Report and the Governor's Veto Messages on the 2007 MS-CAN priority bills, or you can go directly to the California Legislature website.

View the Government Issues Activity (GIA) report, a cumulative summary of state wide advocacy efforts.

State Position Papers:
Health Care Reform: Need For A Disability Sensitive System

Federal Position Papers:
S.1955 Oppose Bad Medicine
Eliminate Medicare Rehab Therapy Caps
Support a 5% Funding Increase for NIH

Back to Top


Links
California Foundation for Independent Living - Action alert for "Impact of the Governor’s Proposed Special Session Budget Cuts on People with Disabilities"

Back to Top