Crenshaw: New CDC Stats Underscore Need for Congressional Passage of ABLE Act
, March 27 -- Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla. (4th CD), issued the following news release: With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) March 27th announcement of an increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Chairman of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, today (3/27) called for Congressional passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act - H.R. 647 and S. 313). Crenshaw, author of the ABLE Act, issued the following statement after the CDC announced one in sixty-eight children have been identified as having autism spectrum disorder - a 30% increase from a 2012 CDC estimate. Go to http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsautismdata/ for specifics on the statistics. "The increase in the prevalence of autism in children announced by the CDC further underscores the need for Congress to take up and pass the ABLE Act to provide individuals with disabilities with the financial planning tools they need and deserve. "Those living with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities face enormous financial difficulties, yet they cannot benefit from the same IRS-sanctioned tools that other Americans enjoy to use in planning for their future. ABLE opens the door for them to live their lives to their highest potential by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses in areas such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. "ABLE is about leveling the playing field for all those who live with disabilities, and the time is now to turn this legislation into law." BACKGROUND: The ABLE Act would create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities to use for qualified expenses such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. The legislation has earned the support of more than half of the United States Congress (350 House co-sponsors and 69 Senate co-sponsors) and more than 100 local, state, and national disability advocacy organizations. The legislation, first introduced in 2006, would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code to 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, the Medicaid program, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources.