Cammack Leads Push for Information Regarding Federal Funding towards Speech Pathology

Cammack Leads Push for Information Regarding Federal Funding towards Speech Pathology

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
|
July 13, 2023

Congresswoman Kat Cammack (R-FL) joined a bipartisan effort in requesting necessary information regarding federal health benefits surrounding speech therapy, especially relating to Americans who struggling with a stutter.

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as well as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the lawmakers wrote that speech pathologists can help millions of Americans “promote greater confidence and more effective communication.”

"Access to effective speech therapy with a skilled Speech Language Pathologist who understands stuttering and people who stutter is crucial to managing and treating stuttering. Through speech therapy, individuals learn how to identify the moment of stuttering and use specialized speech interventions to promote greater confidence, and more effective communication," wrote the Members of Congress.

They would go on to mention, "To help us better understand current coverage policy and support available to identify any existing barriers to care, we request information regarding federal coverage for the assessment, diagnosis, and follow-up speech therapy under the following programs: Medicare, Medicaid, CHAMPVA, TRICARE, and the FEHB program."

National Basketball Association (NBA) veteran and former Kentucky star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist said he is “very appreciative of the bipartisan support” surrounding the effort. Kidd-Gilchrist founded the Change & Impact organization, dedicated to raising awareness by “amplifying voices of the stuttering community to break the stuttering stigma.”

"There has always been a difference between my life and my career. My personal experiences with stuttering led me to make sure three million Americans feel heard," said Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. "I'm very appreciative of the bipartisan support behind this selfless effort."

According to Rep. Cammack's press release, approximately five percent of children in the United States stutter, as well as one in every hundred Americans stutter.

"Left untreated, stuttering can have devastating implications for a child’s social and emotional welfare, often leading to social isolation, low self-esteem, and academic difficulties. As this condition adversely affects a student’s performance in the classroom, it can also impact that student’s ability to graduate or pursue higher education,” wrote the legislators.

They continued, “For adults, this can translate into diminished opportunity to pursue gainful employment or to advance in their career – with individuals who stutter often opting to pursue positions with less verbal communication regardless of their competency and despite lesser socioeconomic benefit.”

Alongside Rep. Cammack, Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-FL), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Andy Barr (R-KY), Morgan McGarvey (D-KY), Ronny L. Jackson, M.D. (R-TX), Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-LA), Jodey C. Arrington (R-TX), and Shontel M. Brown (D-OH) joined the effort.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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