We Need Your Help! Bring Arthritis to a Vote!
Yesterday, at 4 PM the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health convened a hearing on 18 public health bills, including the Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act (H.R. 1210). Congresswoman Schakowsky (D-IL) provided a compelling opening statement in support of the Arthritis bill sponsored by Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Fred Upton (R-MI). She told the Committee Members and the packed hearing room that “this bill is necessary to help the 46 million Americans and 300,000 children with arthritis”. She went onto say that the cost to the economy is staggering and that this bill will address the growing problem of arthritis.
National Institute of Health official, Dr. Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S, Ph.D was one of four federal official witnesses. Dr. Tabak testified on the need to continue supporting research in specific areas including juvenile idiopathic arthritis which "strikes children before the age 16 and has no known cause or cure". Click to read Dr. Tabak's full testimony. Many thanks go to Rep. Schakowsky (D-IL) for asking Dr. Tabak about the critical need to focus more juvenile arthritis research funded by the NIH. Rep. Schakowsky also inquired of CDC official Dr. Ileana Arias, Ph.D., about the lack of state arthritis grants in 38 states and helped raise awareness that only 12 states currently receive CDC funding to combat arthritis. Click to read Dr. Arias' full testimony.
The fate of the arthritis bill is now uncertain.
Some members of committee believe the bill is unncessary and the recommended funding levels for arthritis are too high. Show us a child who can't play. Show us a father who can't work. Show us a mother who can't hold her child. Then tell us that we don't need H.R. 1210. The Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act is many things - hope for a future free of arthritis pain and a day when access to care is readily available - but it is not unncessary. Please ask your Representative to contact Chairman Waxman or Ranking Member Barton and urge swift Committee approval of H.R.1210 and to bring the Arthritis Act to the House floor for a vote and passage.