Susan Collins Has Introduced A Bill Designed To Encourage Medicaid Recipients To Quit Smoking
As patients with breathing disorders face higher risk from COVID-19, Maine Senator Susan Collins, along with Tom Carper of Delaware, have introduced a bill designed to encourage Medicaid recipients quit smoking.
The Quit Because of COVID-19 Act would require state Medicaid programs to cover the cost of FDA approved smoking cessation medications and counseling for enrollees. The act would also provide 100% federal reimbursement for tobacco treatment costs during the COVID-19 pandemic and for two years after.
According to the U.S. CDC, Medicaid enrollees use tobacco at a rate nearly double that of the privately insured.
In a written statement, Collins says that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., and its use heightens the risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19.