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Over the years, we’ve heard many stories from pain warriors who wished their health care providers knew more about chronic pain and ways to manage it. This year, New York lawmakers are taking significant steps to benefit the chronic pain community and better support health care professionals either in training or practicing medicine.

Two bills pain warriors can get excited about

Assembly bill 608 and Assembly bill 9067 (S. 7132) focus on enhancing the state’s current provider education requirements, but in different ways.

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There’s a proposed piece of legislation in Kentucky that would require health plans to cover certain therapies used to treat chronic pain.

As currently written, House Bill 198 would allow pain warriors to have access to receive 20 visits for pain treatments provided by a licensed professional.

Why it matters

Pain care, especially integrative therapy options, are not well-covered by Kentucky health plans, leaving individuals like you with limited options to manage your chronic pain condition.

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Iowa State Rep. Tom Moore has proposed legislation that would keep individuals with chronic conditions medically stable on their therapies, without disruption from their insurer.

HF 2089 will be heard before the House Human Resources Subcommittee on Wednesday, Feb. 5. It’s up to Iowan pain warriors to show support for medication stability before and following this hearing!

Why it matters

HF 2089 would require health plans to honor the contract they enter into with enrollees, protecting families and individuals from unnecessary and potentially harmful changes to their medication regimen. Supported by U.S. Pain Foundation, HF 2089 would ensure your health plan maintains coverage if your medication continues to be prescribed by your physician for an ongoing condition and has been covered during the current plan year or a previous year.

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The responsibilities carried out by a caregiver is an invaluable, yet vital role within the lives of chronic pain patients. The informal caregiver often goes unnoticed by communities and policymakers, but Maine is attempting to change that this year.

LD 1919 would provide a refundable income tax credit of up to $2,000 to a taxpayer who personally provides at least 150 hours per year of personal care assistance services for the care and support of an eligible family member or spouse. If you’re a caregiver or pain warrior who supports this legislation, take action today! Your timely response is important, as the Joint Committee on Taxation has scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 6.

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Attendees Sharon Rose, Heidi Brehm, and Ryan Drozd at the summit. View a slideshow of the weekend here.

Despite challenges often faced when traveling with a chronic pain condition, 19 advocates and a handful of caregivers rallied together in Dallas, TX, for a U.S. Pain Foundation Advocacy Summit. The goal was to help people with pain understand how they can take action at the state and federal level and influence positive change for the pain community. Participants were selected to attend because of their exceptional efforts to engage and speak out about pain in the past.

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Yesterday, Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy, and two fellow advocates who live with pain, Debbie and Scott, testified at the Massachusetts State House at a hearing on Senate Bill 1262. The bill would amend the state’s existing Patient Rights Law to require the assessment and management of pain in health care facilities.

Pain assessment and management in a health care setting should be a basic right of all citizens without discrimination. Currently, 19 states have this right in statute.

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The panel.

On July 10, U.S. Pain Foundation took its INvisible Project: Migraine Edition displays to Sacramento, CA, for an educational event at the state capitol building. The INvisible Project is a print magazine and traveling display that highlights the stories of real pain warriors. By bringing these stories to state capitols, the hope is to educate lawmakers about the challenges of living with chronic pain. Prior to California, the tour visited Providence, RI; more locations will be announced soon.

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An increasing number of states offer medical cannabis programs. In most cases, to be eligible, patients must be diagnosed with a specific condition listed by the state. Unfortunately, the list of qualifying conditions can be very limited, meaning a large number of people with chronic pain are left without access.

On July 17, the Hartford Courant published an op-ed by Ellen Lenox Smith–U.S. Pain Foundation board member and Medical Cannabis Co-Director–about Connecticut’s recent refusal to add chronic pain as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.

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You are invited to connect with legislators and fellow pain warriors–and help create awareness around the issue of chronic pain, especially migraine disease–during our July 10 INvisible Project event at the California state house!

The INvisible Project is a print magazine and traveling display that highlights the stories of real people with pain. This year, we’re bringing the displays from our most recent edition on migraine disease to state houses across the country.

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