LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has expanded Medicaid to cover those diagnosed with sickle cell disease.
Senate Bill 276 will take effect in 90 days according to a press release from the bill's sponsor, Senator Gerald Neal (D-Louisville).
The bill, also known as Emily's Law, will require the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to do yearly reviews of a patient’s medications, services and treatments.
Neal said Emily's Law makes sure the state plays an active role in providing care for those patients.
Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to be abnormally shaped into a crescent or sickle-like shape. The disease can cause anemia and can severely shorten one's lifespan.
The bill is named after Emily Bass, a former legislative page who lost her battle with the disease, Neal said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said about 100,000 in the United States are affected by this disease, mostly people of color.
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) have considered this a top healthcare priority. The NBCSL has focused on funding research and educational resources to help find cures that affect the African American community the release said.
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