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Senator Joe Pennacchio Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26)
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Contact: Brittany O'Neill / 609-847-3600
March 26, 2018
PASSED: Pennacchio Urges Federal Passage of ‘Huntington’s Disease Parity Act’

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Pennacchio: Removing 24-Month Medicare Waiting Period Will Save Lives

A concurrent resolution sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) urges the immediate federal passage of the “Huntington’s Disease Parity Act” has passed the New Jersey Senate.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s  bill urges federal passage of the “Huntington’s Disease Parity Act.” (

“Today, I urge the President and Congress to pass the ‘Huntington’s Disease Parity Act’ immediately,” said Pennacchio. “This Act would waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare eligibility for our neighbors, family members, and friends who are disabled by Huntington’s disease.”

More than 30,000 Americans have Huntington’s disease (HD) which is defined as an inherited disorder that causes brain cells to die in various areas of the brain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes.

Currently, Individuals who are disabled by HD and are determined to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits must then wait two years before they are eligible to receive Medicare benefits.

This concurrent resolution, SCR-29, urges the President and the Congress of the United States to enact the “Huntington’s Disease Parity Act,” which would remove the 24-month waiting period for Medicare eligibility.

“Because of the progressive, degenerative nature of Huntington’s disease, every day counts,” Pennacchio said. “By removing the 24-month hurdle individuals who have Huntington’s Disease face when applying for Medicare we can provide them with immediate healthcare while saving lives.”

Senator Pennacchio’s resolution has received the support of Andrew Kabatchnick, a member New Jersey Chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America and whose father faces the battles of Huntington’s Disease.

“The Huntington’s Disease community in New Jersey is a small but unfortunately growing community of patients, residents at risk, and caregivers,” Kabatchnick added. “Thanks to Senator Pennacchio, his colleagues in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and the state legislature as a whole, we will have more recognition, research, and assistance for our cause.”

The legislation now heads to the Assembly for consideration. A copy of Senator Pennacchio’s concurrent resolution can be found here.

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