You did it! Your voice and your courage to share your story has gotten us to this amazing milestone. Thank YOU!
Yesterday, the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (ELSA) (HR. 1916) was brought to a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives after bill lead, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18), filed a motion to add ELSA to the House consensus calendar on Tuesday, February 8. The consensus calendar is a legislative tool that can be used to expedite a vote on bills with strong bi-partisan support. ELSA reached a supermajority in the House last fall and had 316 co-sponsors when it went for a vote yesterday.
“I became a sponsor of this legislation after Kevin Koser testified at our health subcommittee…about his beautiful son, Kannon. He shared with the subcommittee how Kannon asked Santa Claus for teeth so he could ‘chomp big bites’ of food. I was really shaken by that and by the fact that in our country, such a rich and great country as America, that we would put treatment that allows a child to eat out of reach because of insurance red tape.”– Congresswoman Anna Eshoo during discussions on the House floor prior to Monday’s vote.
Because ELSA came to the floor using the consensus calendar process, the bill required supermajority support (2/3 of the vote as opposed to a traditional majority) to pass the House. Due to the incredible efforts of our advocacy family, ELSA garnered 310 yes votes—20 more than needed to pass!See How Your Representative Voted
Grateful for Our ELSA Team
We are thrilled that our small-but-mighty bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is one step closer to becoming a law. We wouldn’t be here without the grass-roots efforts of our advocates and the work of over 60 other organizations who have signed on to support ELSA. This group of incredibly dedicated people has been working tirelessly to move ELSA through the legislative process for 5+ years!
And today we celebrate their efforts and the hope that this outcome brings…
We are one step closer to closing the health insurance loopholes that prevent individuals born with congenital anomalies from getting coverage for medically necessary treatments and procedures!
We also appreciate the leadership provided by Congresswoman Eshoo and her fellow bill leads, Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA-3) and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Joni Ernst (R-IA). They have heard your stories and continue to support ELSA in Congress. Thank you Congresswoman Eshoo and Congressman Ferguson for pushing us across the finish line in the House yesterday!
What’s Next for ELSA
If ELSA is signed into law, it would be life-changing for those families who have been battling insurance companies to get the coverage they deserve and need. And while we want to take a moment to celebrate this incredible achievement, our work is not yet done. To become a law, ELSA now needs to take the following steps:
- Move through the H.E.L.P Committee in the U.S. Senate.
- Be brought to the U.S. Senate floor for a vote.
- Pass in the U.S. Senate.
- Be signed into law by President Biden.
We still have a long road ahead of us, and we need to get this done this year, during the 117th Congress. If ELSA doesn’t make it through the Senate and get signed into law before January 3, 2023, we will have to start all over again—today’s vote will not carry into the new Congress. We will have to start back at square one, and none of us want to do that!
“The NFED Board of Directors and leadership have identified ELSA as a high priority for the Foundation. We will continue to allocate funds and staff time to getting this important legislation passed for our families. We are committed to getting ELSA through the Senate and passed into law during the 117th Congress!”– Mary Fete, NFED executive director
How You Can Help
Let’s keep up the momentum and get ELSA passed in the U.S. Senate! Please reach out to your Senators now. We want them to encourage members of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (H.E.L.P.) Committee to move the bill forward and to ask Senate leadership to make ELSA a priority and move the bill to the floor for a vote.
Here’s what you can do:
- Use our quick and easy webtool to send a message directly to your Senators. This only takes a couple of minutes!
- Post about the #EnsuringLastingSmiles Act on social media and tag your senators asking them to make ELSA a priority.
- Tell your friends and family about how important ELSA is to your family and ask them to reach out to their Senators to support this life-changing legislation.
We know that you have worked so hard. We are celebrating this win with you. BUT we can’t lose our momentum. Now is the time to make ELSA a reality. Would you rather spend a few minutes reaching out to your Senators or countless hours over many years continuing to fight with insurance providers? We think the choice is clear. Let’s get ELSA passed in the U.S. Senate and signed into law this year!
4 comments on “U.S. House of Representatives Votes YES on the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act”
I am very happy it was passed. I was affected by ecterdermal displasia. It would have been very helpful if my hairpieces were paid by insurance
Hi, Anne! Thank you for supporting the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act. We understand the cost of hairpieces can be high. The NFED offers a Treatment Assistance Program to assist with the cost of hairpieces. Learn more at https://www.nfed.org/treat/treatment-assistance-program/.
I am so happy this passed I have been effected by ectodermal dysplasia and have struggled with confidence my whole life. I have not been able to smile it has effected me getting jobs and has caused a lot of depression as nobody even new what this was when I was younger.
Thank you for sharing, Lindsey! We are so glad ELSA passed the House as well. However, it does still need to pass the Senate before it can be signed into law. We would love it, if you would let your senators know how much ELSA would mean to you. You can do it in just a couple of minutes with our easy-to-use webtool available at this link: https://www.nfed.org/get-involved/advocate/ways-to-advocate/#/.