Representative Ayanna Pressley knows what it’s like “to experience a transformation not of your own choosing,” as she puts it. The Massachusetts congresswoman, part of the quartet of progressives known as “the Squad,” revealed last year that she was among the nearly 7 million Americans living with alopecia—an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks healthy hair follicles, causing hair loss.
Pressley brings that lived experience to the bill she and Rep. James McGovern, her colleague in the Massachusetts House delegation, unveiled [recently]. On the last day of Alopecia Awareness Month, the pair reintroduced a bill requiring Medicare to pay for wigs for those experiencing hair loss due to medical treatments or disease. Given the few effective treatment options for alopecia—which has no known cause or cure—many with the condition look to cranial prosthetics (a.k.a. medical wigs) to address their hair loss.