Thursday, June 2, 2011

Support Bills in US Congress: ‘The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011’ (S-1094/ HR-2005)

These bills are currently making their way through various committees in Washington DC. The sponsors of these bills need to hear from every family affected by Autism with words of thanks and call or connect via fax or e-mail their own representatives to become co-sponsors of these bills.

The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) of 2011 introduced in the Senate (S-1094) by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) and in the House (HR-2005) by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) in May 2011. S-1094 referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; HR 2005 referred to House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The new bill reauthorizes the Combating Autism Act of 2006 (CAA), which has played a critical role in advancing autism research and treatment. The original CAA, set to sunset on September 30, 2011, expanded federal investment for autism research through NIH, increased services, diagnosis and treatment through HRSA, and enhanced surveillance and awareness efforts by the CDC. The CAA authorized nearly $1 billion in federal research spending over five years—increasing autism research spending by almost 50 percent. This research has led to improved understanding of the causes of autism and has helped us begin to develop new interventions. Additionally, the research funded through CAA has increased the ability of professionals to more properly screen, diagnose, and treat individuals with autism. The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 ensures that the programs established under the original law continue for an additional three years, including CDC surveillance programs, HRSA intervention and training programs, and the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC).

No comments: