The National Consumers League supports Agency’s proposal to reduce CO hazards of portable generators

June 28, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown,, 202-823-8442

Washington, D.C. – The National Consumers League (NCL) appeared at a June 28 hearing at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hearing to submit comments on a proposed rule to reduce injury and death associated with acute Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning[1].

“NCL strongly supports the CPSC rulemaking to address these preventable deaths and poisonings. Consumers rely on portable generators when the power goes out – they often don’t know that carbon monoxide (CO) emissions can reach dangerous levels, far higher than even from a car,” said Sally Greenberg, CEO of the NCL. “We applaud the CPSC for vastly improving the safety requirements for portable generators.”

Reducing CO emissions means employing CO detectors linked to alarms and shut-off mechanisms.  Reliance on existing voluntary standards has proved insufficient and have not reduced the risk of injury.

1332 CO poisoning deaths were reported between 2004 and 2021.  The CPSC proposal is particularly urgent because extreme weather conditions are becoming more common with climate change.  Portable generator usage will only grow, and time is of the essence to make them far safer and reduce their CO emissions. Generators with safe designs are already available and on the market; the stronger safety standards should be required for all generators.

NCL supports the critical message that portable generators must never be operated inside.  However, warning messages on generators need proper placement. They are used during complex emergency settings, in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados or snowstorms. As NCL’s comments note, related factors, such as electrical cord length, rain and wind, lot size, or theft concerns lead consumers to place the generators too close to the home or even inside the home, which is poses serious risk of CO poisoning.

NCL’s made the following recommendations:

  • Add audible alarms to visual alarms when CO levels are high and have triggered a shutoff of the portable generator.
  • Replace wording on the generators to tell consumers to locate them “far away” from homes with existing CDC, FEMA, and CPSC guidance to say that they must be located at least 20 feet from homes.
  • Provide consumers with steps for safe operation in wet conditions.
  • NCL also noted in its comments that portable generators featuring lower CO emissions are currently on the market. The rule is not prescriptive, and there are no intellectual property obstacles to wider adoption of the safety technologies.

Matt Gillen, NCL consultant and expert, submitted oral comments to the CPSC on behalf of NCL; [2] NCL also submitted additional written comments.

Mr. Gillen noted that: “Portable generators help consumers when the power goes out.  But they cause an average of 74 carbon monoxide fatalities each year.  The CPSC’s proposed regulation will eliminate these preventable deaths.  And with extreme weather events surging, there is a real urgency in adopting this proposed regulation.”  




About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit

We must never forget the importance of vaccines

Sally Greenberg

By Sally Greenberg, Chief Executive Officer

I have written before about being born into a family that experienced the agony of the polio epidemic. My uncle Roger Joseph’s battle with the disease—including his diagnosis in 1951 by my father, a practicing internist—devastated our entire family. My uncle, a golden boy, popular, handsome, brilliant, and kind, graduated from the University of Minnesota and Harvard Law School; he also won a silver star for his military service in WW2. Married with three daughters, he had a thriving law practice when he fell ill.

His case was severe and rendered him paralyzed. Confined to an Iron Lung for two years, the device was designed to stimulate breathing in patients whose lungs no longer functioned. With a great deal of therapy, my Uncle Roger, by then quadriplegic, moved to a motorized wheelchair that he ended up using for the rest of his life. He doted on his children, moved in with my grandmother, slept in a rocking bed to facilitate his breathing, and had an attendant on duty 24 hours a day. When we visited my grandmother, we visited our uncle too. He also came to our home for Sunday dinners, and I recall him taking breaths carefully before speaking, and when he did, he was wry and funny. He also had to learn to write again with his non-dominant hand. My mother, who had always idolized him, marveled at how his handwriting never changed.

My uncle lived 16 years with polio, thanks to a loving family, modern medicine, financial wherewithal, his wheelchair, and his attendant. Paralyzed from the neck down, he nonetheless spent these years productively, doting on his daughters, going to work every day, and attending baseball games, and even traveling abroad.

In 1954, U.S. physician Jonas Salk developed a vaccine to prevent the disease. The polio vaccine was first tested on 1.6 million children in Canada, Finland, and the United States before it was used more broadly. By 1957, annual cases had dropped from 58,000 to 5,600, and by 1961, only 161 cases remained. Had my uncle had access to the vaccine, he never would have gotten sick.

The powerful lessons about vaccines weren’t lost on anyone in my family. This explains why I feel obligated to confront head-on the dishonesty and lies of the anti-vaxxers. I have traveled to the CDC and the FDA numerous times to testify in support of childhood and adult vaccinations, and each time have been confronted by vaccine deniers.

Here’s the problem: Those of us with memories of family members with devastating diseases like polio are aging out. We are victims of our own success in wiping out childhood diseases. Younger generations have now been vaccinated for polio, measles, rubella, mumps, influenza, diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough so they do not know the trauma these illnesses caused to millions of families. Come to think of it, I’m in that category myself.

Florence Kelley, who in 1899 launched the National Consumers League, wrote in the 1880s about the dark days of “diphtheria”; she lost three young siblings to the disease, which sent her mother into lifelong depression. But I have never known anyone with diphtheria, thanks to vaccines.

My 27-year-old son never had measles—nor any of his friends. But my siblings and I all did, along with rubella, chicken pox, and the mumps. Measles alone is far more serious than often understood. In 2021 alone it killed nearly 128,000 unvaccinated children under age 5 around the world.

All of which leads me to the reason I have written this blog. Each year, Uncle Roger’s daughters proudly award the Roger E. Joseph Prize, (created by my Uncle Burton Joseph, in honor of his brother and their dad) and for this year’s prize, my cousin Linda produced a video; it tells a compelling story of her experience with her father’s illness. Hebrew Union College, which graduates reform rabbis, hosts the awards. Honorees have included Rosa Parks, Henry Louis Gates, Morris Dees, Sara Bloomfield, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. A complete list is at the link below.

Indeed, the Roger E. Joseph Prize is a point of immense pride for our family, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk about diseases like polio and, now Covid, and the critical importance of the vaccines developed to prevent them.

How truly fortunate we are to have a medical establishment that has helped to prevent families from suffering, the way ours did, when a loved one falls ill from an infectious disease.

As the anti-vaccine movement grows each year—a = movement that traffics in conspiracy theories and junk medicine—note Robert Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine crusade, which his own family has denounced in this article published by Politico.

Now more than ever we need to have conversations about the critical importance of vaccines.

NCL statement on nomination of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as the Director of the National Institutes of Health

May 15, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Melody Merin,, 202-207-2831

Washington, D.C. – The National Consumers League welcomes President Joe Biden nomination’s of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

NIH plays a critical role in advancing science to benefit patients. Dr. Bertagnolli’s deep understanding of biomedical research and proven leadership in directing the National Cancer Institute makes her an ideal nominee for the NIH Directorship.

“Dr. Bertagnolli brings so much experience to this post,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL’s CEO. “She is a physician, scientist, and a patient herself, so she has seen all sides of the issues facing patients and the NIH. We would be fortunate indeed to have someone of Dr. Bertagnolli stature and accomplishments leading the NIH.”

Dr. Bertagnolli is currently the Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Prior to her role at the NCI, Dr. Bertagnolli was a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In addition, she was the recent chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a national clinical trial network of the NCI.

“NCL believes that Dr. Bertagnolli is the right leader for this critical agency that advances public health. NCL supports her nomination and we urge the Senate to confirm her promptly,” Greenberg added.


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit

What will happen to President Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan?

Sally Greenberg

By Sally Greenberg, Chief Executive Officer

Last week, I attended the oral argument in the Supreme Court challenging student debt forgiveness initiative launched by the Biden Administration. The states of Missouri, Nebraska and four others, along with two students, are challenging Biden’s proposal to forgive student loan debt for 40 million Americans.

During his campaign, President Biden promised to reduce the albatross of student debt burdening millions of young Americans through his Department of Education. His proposal only applies to federal loans and is narrowly tailored and means tested. The plaintiff states and students challenging the loan forgiveness plan are arguing that it exceeds federal law, and that “canceling hundreds of billions of dollars in student loans is a breathtaking assertion of power.” The administration countered that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has the authority to forgive the debt under a 2003 law, the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act.

The debt forgiveness program would cancel up to $10,000 of debt for those who have federal student loans as long as they make under $125,000 or $250,000 for couples. Those getting Pell grants are eligible for an additional $10,000. Thus, 20 million students could see their debt totally wiped out; all told, it will cost taxpayers $430 billion.

Sitting in the courtroom, I was seeing the new members of the Supreme Court in action for the first time and that was fun. Each of the justices has their own distinct style. Some are far more engaged than others, like the newest member, Justice Katanji Brown Jackson, who fired away a series of questions to the AG from Missouri about whether the state had standing to challenge the law. Even conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett questioned standing,  asking why those alleging injury weren’t plaintiffs in the case. Justices Sotomayer and Kagan also pressed the plaintiffs on both the broad language in the law and the standing problem.

Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar, whose argued the case for the Biden Department of Education, argued that the Department’s plan was exactly what Congress had in mind when it passed the 2003 law, giving the executive branch the power to … “waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision.”  I Wiki’d Prelogar and learned some cool facts: she’s a Harvard Law grad who won Miss Idaho Teen USA of 1998!  She is fluent in Russian, and her father went to my alma mater, Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH and oh yes, I was delighted to see that her dad served at one time as head of consumer protection for the North Carolina Attorney General.

I realize I’m not an unbiased observer, but I thought Prelogar had the better arguments, First, the law is broadly worded and gives a lot of latitude to the Executive Branch on student loan waivers. Second, the standing issue is a serious hurdle for the opponents. To challenge the loan forgiveness program, they need to show that they have suffered a specific, rather than generalized, injury that can be remedied by relief from the Court. Neither of the challengers can show direct harm.

The bottom line for the National Consumers League and the hundreds of groups that support this narrowly tailored loan forgiveness is that the $10,000- $20,000 debt for 40 million Americans can be crippling to families –the reality is that student debt prevents many young people from buying homes, starting families and getting on with their lives. We are therefore hoping against hope that the Supreme Court throws out this challenge and the student debt forgiveness proposal at last be implemented.

National Consumers League statement on Gigi Sohn’s FCC nomination withdrawal

March 7, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown,, 202-823-8442

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Gigi Sohn announced that she has asked President Biden to withdraw her nomination to the Federal Communications Commission.

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, NCL Chief Executive Officer:  

“We are disappointed that Gigi Sohn’s nomination to the Federal Communications Commission was derailed by entrenched industry players and their allies in Congress. Gigi is a true friend to consumers and a well respected colleague and communications lawyer with strong credentials to serve on the FCC.  She has spent her career speaking up for the most disenfranchised consumers and her confirmation would have broken the current 2-2 deadlock, which makes it hard for FCC to do its important work. There is so much work to be done on tackling the problem of the digital divide, working on behalf of rural communities who still lack access to broadband, and ensuring that every child has affordable and accessible broadband in their homes, libraries and schools. Gigi’s voice and expertise would have been so valuable on the Commission. It’s truly a loss to the country that she felt she had no choice but to withdraw her nomination. ”


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit

The National Consumers League mourns death of Bob Krughoff, founder of Consumer Checkbook

February 27, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown,, 202-823-8442

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Consumers League is deeply saddened by the death of consumer icon and pioneer, Robert M. Krughoff.  Bob devoted 45 years of service to consumer protection as the founding president of Consumer Checkbook. Bob started Consumer Checkbook, an invaluable tool published in the six metropolitan areas – DC, Boston, Chicago, Delaware Valley, Puget Sound and the Twin Cities – after his car repairs failed for a third time. He wondered why there wasn’t a Consumer Reports for local service providers. He then launched Consumer Checkbook and the publication has been in continuous print since then. The nonprofit takes no advertising, referral fees or other money from businesses it evaluates.

National Consumer League Chief Executive Officer Sally Greenberg provided the following statement. “Bob turned Consumer Checkbook into the highly respected publication it is, providing consumers with unbiased expertise on pricing and services provided by healthcare plans, doctors, dentists, hospitals, and dialysis centers, along with best bargain and quality ratings for buying diamonds, solar energy systems, tree care, electricians, remodeling, right to repair, planning a funeral, estate planning, tire buying and much more. NCL was privileged to honor Bob last year with our Lifetime Achievement Award after he announced his plans to retire from Consumer Checkbook. Consumer Federation of America’s longtime leader, Jack Gillis, longtime friend of Bob Krughoff, was also honored. Bob’s legacy will live on, but this is a sad day indeed for consumers across America who have lost a friend and legendary champion for their rights.”


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit

National Consumers League statement on United family seating policy change

February 21, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown,, 202-823-8442

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Consumers League (NCL) today welcomed United Airlines’ announcement that it will phase out family seating fees in its Basic Economy fare class. The move positions United as a leader in an industry that has long claimed that proposals to prohibit family seating fees are unnecessary. United’s change comes after years of advocacy by NCL and other advocates as well as more recent pressure from the Department of Transportation, Congress, and the Biden White House.  

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director:  

“While we are still awaiting all the details, United’s announcement is encouraging news. Budget-conscious families have for too long been asked to choose between saving money on their flights and the safety of their young children. While welcome, we still need common-sense consumer protection regulation that protects all passengers regardless of which airline they fly. Secretary Buttigieg, President Biden, and consumer champions in Congress should not take their eyes off the ball when it comes to putting family seating protections into laws and regulations.” 

Last week, NCL endorsed the Families Fly Together Act, sponsored by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY). The bill would prohibit airlines from imposing any monetary charges on families that want to sit together during a flight. NCL has also called for such a prohibition to be included in the Federal Aviation Administration’s upcoming reauthorization legislation. 


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit

The National Consumers League sent a letter urging Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to ensure that consumers get a fair deal at the pharmacy

February 21, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown,, 202-823-8442

Washington, D.C. – The National Consumers League (NCL) sent a letter urging Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to ensure that consumers get a fair deal at the pharmacy. When it comes to the high out-of-pocket costs consumers face at the pharmacy counter — often for lifesaving medications — consumers today have an unfair disadvantage.

“With three PBMs controlling nearly 80 percent of all prescription drug claims, it is timely that lawmakers are looking at PBMs’ role in driving up the cost of drugs to consumers and patients,“ said Sally Greenberg NCL Chief Executive Officer. “We are encouraged to see the committee looking into the workings of PBMs and we are supportive of your efforts to hold these entities accountable.”

Beyond addressing the antitrust issues and increasing transparency of PBM revenue streams, we encouraged legislators to:

  • Remove medication barriers: PBMs should not be allowed to limit access to the medicines doctors prescribe.
  • Require PBMs to pass on savings directly to consumers: PBM rebates should be shared so that consumers can benefit from more affordable out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, patient cost-sharing should be based on the net cost of the drug, not the list price.
  • Ensure simple, single administrative PBM fees: PBMs too often tack on arbitrary fees to local pharmacies, with many independent and community pharmacies struggling to stay in business, this trickles down to the consumers, resulting in increased prices and pharmacy closures, leading to many communities facing pharmacy deserts.
  • Ensure PBM profits are not tied to the costs of medications: The system currently incentivizes PBMs to favor medicines with higher list prices so that they can negotiate larger rebates and/or steer patients to medicines with higher price tags to increase their own profits.

With the many evolving ways PBMs too often put profit over consumer interests, it is crucial that federal consumer protection agencies like the FTC have the tools needed to address the PBM problem.

To view the full letter, click here.


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit

NCL’s Greenberg joins panel to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the generic and biosimilar industries

February 15, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown,, 202-823-8442

Washington, D.C. – NCL’s CEO Sally Greenberg spoke at the Association of Accessible Medicines and International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL on Wednesday, February 15, 2023.

Greenberg joined the panel “The Generic and Biosimilar Industries Global Reputation” moderated by former NY Times journalist Gardiner Harris.

In her statements, Greenberg made the following points:

  • The generic and biosimilar industry has saved the US health care system an estimated $2.4 trillion between 2011 and 2020 and the industry is incredibly important to a well-functioning health care system.
  • NCL reinforces the messages with consumers that generic drugs contain the same active ingredients in the same dosages as brand name drugs, are every bit as safe and effective, but cost far less.
  • Biosimilars, developed after patents expire on brand name biologics, are as safe and effective as the original biologic, both brand biologics and biosimilars are rigorously and thoroughly evaluated by the FDA before approval and biosimilars have no clinically meaningful differences from the original biologic.
  • Over 90% of drugs are available in a generic version today, compared to less than 19% less than 4 decades ago, saving consumers and patients many millions of dollars each year.
  • The role of consumer advocacy groups like NCL will continue to be as an independent voice disseminating accurate, evidence based, scientifically grounded information about medicines and their safety and efficacy.

For the first time since 2014, the 25th International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA) Annual Conference will be held in the United States, in conjunction with AAM’s Access! 2023 Annual Meeting. This event offers an opportunity to hear from leading global stakeholders, industry leaders, and other experts offering their views and analysis of the most pressing policy questions influencing patient access to generic and Biosimilar medicines in countries around the world.


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit

It is time to give Medicare beneficiaries effective obesity care

Sally Greenberg

By Sally Greenberg, Chief Executive Officer

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

As one of the most recognized quotes of all time, this line from the 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, originally addressed the struggle of a person’s will over government control.

Now the line is applicable to another and equally intractable struggle: ending outdated Medicare rules that leave millions of seniors with diagnosed obesity – particularly members of Black and Latino communities – vulnerable to disability, disease and premature death due to lack of access to the full range of treatment options.

The struggle is not new. As documented in a 2010 report from the US Surgeon General, the prevalence of obesity began to increase sharply in the 1980s and by the 1990s, public health leaders were calling obesity a national emergency. Now, the obesity rate among adult Americans exceeds 40 percent but is even higher among communities of color: virtually half of African Americans (49.6 percent) and 44.8 percent of Hispanics are living with obesity. Moreover, because obesity is directly linked to over 230 medical conditions, the disease is responsible for an estimated 400,000 deaths a year, costing the nation over $1.72 trillion annually in direct and indirect health costs.

Confronting this growing crisis, in 2012, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued guidelines recommending screening all U.S. adults aged 18 and above for overweight and obesity and encouraging clinicians to treat or refer adults with obesity for treatment. Then, in 2013, the American Medical Association officially recognized obesity as “a disease state” on a par with other serious chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes and hypertension, so healthcare professionals (HCPs) would be motivated to diagnose, counsel and treat obesity. These actions were the impetus for most private insurers, state health plans and state Medicaid programs to cover obesity care to some degree. Moreover, the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees health coverage for federal employees, now requires that insurers cover the full range of obesity treatment options, including intensive behavioral therapy (IBT), prescription weight loss drugs, and bariatric surgery. Additionally. Tri-Care, which covers military personnel and their families, and the Veterans Administration cover AOMs for adults who do not achieve weight loss goals through diet and exercise alone.

This leaves the Medicare program, which today represents the biggest obstacle impeding access to quality obesity care. Outdated Medicare Part B policy places undue restrictions on intensive behavioral therapy by allowing only primary care providers to deliver IBT and severely restricting the physical locations where this care can occur. Equally troubling, new FDA-approved anti-obesity medications (AOMs) are excluded from Medicare coverage based on a statutory prohibition tracing back to the start of the Part D program. This was in 2003 when fen-phen (the drug combination of fenfluramine and phentermine) controversy raised questions about the safety of weight loss drugs, leading the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to classify these medicines as “cosmetic” treatments not eligible for coverage, just like hair loss drugs and cold and flu treatments.

But obesity medicine has improved substantially since 2003. Due to the latest science on obesity as a serious chronic disease, there have been major advances in drug development, including new anti-obesity medications that achieve meaningful weight loss. Yet, while science has moved forward, CMS policy is stuck in the past.

To change this situation, advocates have gone to both Congress and CMS for help. In Congress, public health and aging organizations have been working to pass bipartisan legislation called the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) that would end the exclusion under Medicare Part D prohibiting coverage for AOMs and change Medicare Part B rules to permit all qualified health practitioners to provide Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) to Medicare beneficiaries. With CMS, advocates have written to and met with key staffers on several occasions, urging the agency to use its inherent authority to allow flexibility to include drugs under Part D that might otherwise be excluded. One key argument is that CMS has already done this on multiple occasions, ending exclusions for treatments for AIDS wasting and other medical conditions when it is urgent to do so.   And yet, ten years have passed since AMA classified obesity as a chronic disease with no action from either Congress or CMS. In Congress, TROA did not receive a floor vote in the House of Representatives in 2022 despite having 154 co-sponsors and widespread support from medical societies, public health organizations and the aging community. Similarly, CMS has kept the exclusion on coverage for anti-obesity medications, even though the Biden Administration has asked for ways to address systemic racial inequity and obesity is a throughline to better health outcomes.

To start a dialogue that could lead to meaningful action, the National Consumers League and the National Council on Aging decided to change the dynamic. In September 2022, our organizations sent an urgent letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure requesting a meeting so we could speak to her directly on behalf of  about 18 million traditional Medicare beneficiaries whose diagnosis of obesity puts them at risk of other serious conditions. Our letter was well received and on January 17, this meeting took place.

Recognizing that there has been a “failure to communicate” the urgency of the moment, our purpose was to put a human face on seniors with obesity and to convey that bureaucracy and intransigence cannot be the reason that 18 million older adults are denied effective obesity care. As such, we asked Administrator Brooks-LaSure to end the impasse in Part D coverage of FDA-approved AOMs by making access to obesity treatment an agency priority. This action could be the catalyst empowering CMS staff to think differently about obesity and be more open to interpreting the statutory exclusion provision in a way that would permit coverage for anti-obesity medications.

It is too soon to know what the outcome of the meeting will be. We opened a door and pledged to maintain a frank and constructive dialogue with Administrator Brooks-LaSure and staff she designates on the needs of Medicare beneficiaries living with obesity. Our hope is to elevate obesity as a priority for CMS policy and to work with CMS and other stakeholders to remove the access barriers that keep too many Americans from seeking obesity care.