03.27.14

Senator Burr Releases Statement on New Data from CDC

Washington, D.C. -Today, U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) released the following statement regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) new data on the prevalence of autism in the United States. The CDC study identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having an autism spectrum disorder, with North Carolinaas one of the states with the highest prevalence.

"Today's news on the prevalence of autism is substantially worse than we ever thought. Children and adults with autism face enormous daily challenges, and it is important that we dowhatwe can tosupport these individuals and their families as they deal with the day-to-day struggles presented by autism spectrum disorders,"said Senator Burr. "That's why Senator Casey and I introduced the ABLE Act. It would allow families to use a 529 college savings account to save for 'disability expenses' - such as housing, education and medical expenses -- for a disabled child, including children living with autism."

ABLE Act is widely bipartisan, with 69 Senate cosponsors, including both Senate leaders, and 345 House cosponsors. The legislation would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code to allow use of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill, first introduced in 2006, would ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources.

The ABLE Act is supported by Autism Speaks, along with the National Down Syndrome Society, The Arc, March of Dimes, Easter Seals, and the National Fragile X Foundation.