Skip to main content

Modified Obesity Bill Passes Out of Committee, Opens Door for Access to Treatment

Published July 1, 2024

Access to obesity treatment for Medicare beneficiaries took a promising step forward with passage of a scaled-back version of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA). The U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee’s bipartisan vote to advance the amended version of TROA would allow older adults already taking obesity medications to continue upon enrolling in Medicare. The legislation also would initiate a reconsideration of coverage for Medicare’s Intensive Behavior Therapy for Obesity benefit to ensure it reflects the current clinical guidelines and scientific evidence.

The Academy joined more than 30 organizations to encourage the committee to move the bill forward with the amended language in a letter that was shared during the mark-up.

“While only an initial step in a long process, the advancement gives hope to the millions of Americans who live with obesity. The legislators’ dialogue also confirmed the recognition of obesity as a chronic disease and an understanding that evidence-based treatment options should be available to Medicare beneficiaries,” said Academy President Livleen Gill, MBA, RDN, LDN, FAND.

The path forward for TROA now depends on support from leadership to bring the bill before the full House for a vote. If passed by the House, the bill still would need to pass the Senate and be signed by the president to become law. Each of these steps is an opportunity for the Academy and other organizations to advocate for the bill in its amended form or to recommend language changes in the Senate version.

“The scope of the legislation was narrowed to address committee concerns regarding a potentially prohibitive Congressional Budget Office score,” said Gill. “The Academy will join numerous organizations to work towards increased access and interventions such as IBT provided by registered dietitian nutritionists to provide comprehensive care for those living with obesity.”

The Academy commends Representatives Brad Wenstrup (Ohio) and Gwen Moore (Wis.) for championing the bill through the committee with Chairman Jason Smith’s (Mo.) leadership. We extend our appreciation to the members of the Ways and Means Committee who took action to advance access to obesity care.

Academy members can learn more about policy efforts to expand access to IBT and obesity care during the monthly affinity group meeting, a forum for discussing advocacy opportunities and initiatives.

Join the Academy

Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics receive exciting benefits including complimentary continuing professional education opportunities, discounts on events and products in, invitations to exclusive members-only events and more!