A new bill, being informed by Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, is being reintroduced to Congress after being stalled more than two years ago. If passed, H.R. 3332 will require Medicare to cover the cost for wigs for those affected by alopecia or hair loss due to medical treatments or disease.
As Popsugar reports, the bill, known as the Wigs as Durable Medical Equipment Act, was first introduced in 2018 by Rep. James McGovern, who wanted to highlight the high cost of wigs after meeting with the owner of a women’s healthcare boutique. “Wigs can cost thousands of dollars, and despite the enormous and clear benefits they provide, they are not currently covered by programs like Medicare,” says McGovern in a statement. New-to-office Pressley has since taken over the effort, and she holds a special place for the mission in her heart.
Explaining her own personal struggle with alopecia areata, which currently affects about seven million people in the United States, Pressley says: “Since I first revealed my alopecia diagnosis, I’ve been intentional about creating space and creating community for those of us who have medical conditions that impact our hair—and this bill is a continuation of those efforts,” according to a release. “Every person living with alopecia, battling cancer or facing another medical condition that leads to hair loss should be able to access wigs and other head coverings. Our bill is responsive and sends a powerful message to these communities: we see you, you belong, and you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Read the full bill text here and stay tuned to NewBeauty for updates on its progress.