WASHINGTON D.C. – Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, along with representative John Larson (D-CT) and Senators Billy Cassiday (R-LA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the “Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act” Tuesday.
According to a release from McMorris Rodgers’ office, the new act permanently fixes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services policy that limited access to speech generation devices for people with degenerative diseases.
““The silence and isolation that comes from losing the ability to communicate does not discriminate between types of injuries, diseases, accidents, or conditions,” said Steve Gleason. “Most people who have severe disabilities are expected to fade away quietly and die. For me, that was not ok. With the right equipment and the right technology, these same people can live and be productive for decades. I know I speak for all who use this technology in saying - we cannot revert back to the changes that preceded the Steve Gleason Act of 2015.”
The release said the new act builds upon the successes of the Steven Gleason Act of 2015, which ensures access to speech generation devices for those who need them to communicate.
“Steve Gleason is a hero and inspiration to all of us, and especially to the thousands of Americans living with degenerative diseases who, like him, rely on speech generating devices to communicate with their family, friends, and doctors,” said Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). “When bureaucratic rules threatened to silence many of them, the Gleason Act gave these individuals the peace of mind to know that their voices will continue to be heard. The Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act ensures there are ‘no white flags’ and that access to speech generation devices continues permanently for those who need it most. This is about giving a permanent voice to the voiceless.”