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Kerry Demands Immediate Care for Burn Victims

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today introduced legislation to provide immediate Medicare coverage for uninsured patients suffering from serious, disabling burn injuries.

The Social Security and Medicare Improved Burn Injury Treatment Access Act of 2009 will provide a waiver of the 24-month waiting period now required before an uninsured individual is eligible for Medicare coverage for life-threatening burn injuries. It also provides a waiver for the five-month waiting period for Social Security disability benefits.

"This is an opportunity to provide burn victims with the best possible circumstances for recovery," said Sen. Kerry. "This legislation will help ensure that treatment for these types of injuries is immediate, comprehensive, and in the best interest of the patient. It will also provide burn centers with the support they need as we ask them to expand their capacity and prepare for catastrophic cases."

Massachusetts Congressman Richard E. Neal previously introduced legislation to expand health care in the House of Representatives.

"Burn centers are a critical link to public health emergency preparedness. Medicare coverage for serious, disabling burn injuries would help preserve these burn centers as an essential component our public health emergency infrastructure. This legislation is about providing coverage for the many uninsured patients suffering from serious burn injuries and ensuring the survival of a vital homeland security resource," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

"Congressman Neal recognized the need for improving the law and he has worked tirelessly to do it," Kerry added. "I'm proud to join with him in this effort and will work to usher this bill through the Senate. I urge our colleagues in both chambers to support this le

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