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WIG BILLS REINTRODUCED

Two wig bills were reintroduced into the House and Senate on Monday, June 12th. We're here to give you the rundown.


Overview

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Congressman James P. McGovern, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and Congressman Mike Quigley introduced H.R. 4034, and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced S. 1922. Both bills call to mandate insurance coverage for wigs for individuals struggling with chronic hair loss under the Medicare Program.


The Social Security Act does not recognize wigs as durable medical equipment. Thus, coverage for cranial prosthetics (wigs) is not mandated under the Medicare program, the U.S. federal health insurance program.


Why Is This Legislation Significant?

High-quality, durable wigs can cost thousands of dollars, often requiring payment upfront. For the hair loss community, wigs offer empowerment and choice when navigating unpredictable conditions. Dr. Maryanne Senna and her team found that the average high-quality U.S. wig costs $1,500. Thus, this critical medical device remains out of reach for a majority of the 6.7 million Americans with alopecia!


How Can I Help?

The AJL needs YOU to contact your representative via email, phone call, or Zoom to propel our efforts to pass H.R. 4034 and S. 1922. Visit our H.R. 4034 page to find email scripts, prep packets, and videos to help you advocate with your representatives effectively. Feel free to message us with any questions.


Wasn't there already a wig bill, H.R. 5430?

Great question! In the last Congress, the 117th, there were two wig bills: H.R. 5430 (House Bill) and S. 4708 (Senate Bill). However, at the end of each Congress, bills that don't receive sufficient support to pass must be reintroduced in the next Congress. Upon reintroduction, the cosponsor count restarts.


How Do Bills Become Laws?

First, a U.S. House of Representatives member must sponsor the bill. Then a specific commitment must inspect and approve for a House vote. A majority (218/435) of the Representatives must support the bill to pass to the Senate. Then, the Senate votes, and a majority (51/100) is required to pass to a committee of House and Senate members for final revisions. The House and Senate must give their final approval for the bill to pass to the President, who signs it into law.




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