Arthritis Bill Headed to House of Representatives

September 24, 2010

The Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and will now go to the House of Representatives to vote on passage.

According to The Arthritis Foundation, the approval is a major step in passing bi-partisan arthritis legislation in more than 30 years.

The bill sponsor - U.S. Rep Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) - urged the committee leadership to pass the bill in order to address arthritis, a disease that impacts one in five Americans and 300,000 children and is the nation's most common cause of disability.

“I'm very proud that my bipartisan legislation has been passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee,” Eshoo said, in a press release. “The bill will provide states and non-profits the resources they need to tackle the debilitating disorder.

“It invests in the critical needs of children and adults suffering from arthritis, and in research that will alleviate the costs to future generations of Americans who are diagnosed. I'll continue to fight for this legislation until it's signed into law.”

The Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act, when enacted, will attempt to focus federally funded arthritis research, expand and strengthen public health initiatives proven to combat the burden of arthritis, and improve access to pediatric rheumatologists to address the country's severe shortage of these critical health professionals.

According to the facts on The Arthritis Foundation website, arthritis costs the country $128 billion annually and $81 billion in direct medical costs. By the year 2030, 67 million Americans or 25% of the adult population will have arthritis. Nearly 19 million people with arthritis are forced to stop working within 10 years of diagnosis. The bill was designed with the goals of effectively addressing this ever-growing health problem.

“The Arthritis Foundation is comprised of people all across this nation who have worked tirelessly over the past seven years to let Congress know that more needs to be done for people with arthritis,” said Dr. John Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, in a press release. “Our grassroots advocates deserve to be recognized for reaching and successfully communicating this message to the majority of Congress”

To date, 179 Representatives have joined as co-sponsors of the bill.

The Arthritis Foundation requests that individuals show support for the bill by calling their member of congress and becoming an advocate. The Arthritis Foundation is a leading health organization that is designed to addresses the needs of those living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. The Foundation seeks to help individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; supporting research and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.