September 30, 2021
Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, firstname.lastname@example.org, (412) 945-3242
Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) is pleased to support the Helping Adults Protect Immunity (HAPI) Act (H.R. 8725/S.581), introduced by Representative Darren Soto (D-FL) in the House and by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in the Senate. The bill would expand access to immunizations for adults by eliminating cost-sharing for vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
“Throughout its rich history, NCL has advocated for increased access to vaccines as life-saving medical interventions. The HAPI Act is common sense legislation that would help to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for all vaccines recommended by the ACIP,” said NCL Director of Health Policy Jeanette Contreras. This legislation would apply to crucial immunizations such as Shingles and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccines, along with future vaccines.
NCL is grateful for the important role of the ACIP to make recommendations using evidence-based research methods, examining the harm-benefit ratio, and understanding the values of the affected populations. Currently, all ACIP and CDC recommended vaccines are covered with no out-of-pocket costs under private insurance, Medicare Part B, and ACA Medicaid Expansion. Unfortunately, traditional Medicaid beneficiaries must often pay varying out-of-pocket costs for recommended vaccines depending on the state.
More than 50,000 adults in the United States die annually from vaccine preventable deaths. The HAPI Act would help to lower that number significantly by providing more vaccine access to Medicaid beneficiaries, our most vulnerable low-income populations. “No one should be unable to obtain a vaccine due to cost barriers. We can ensure that all Americans are protected against preventable diseases regardless of their state of residence or their ability to pay,” said Contreras.
NCL urges Congress to pass the HAPI Act to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries across the country have equitable access to recommended vaccines across lifespan.
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