Making Strides to Better the Lives of Disabled Families
As the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, I am proud of the strides we have made to better the lives of disabled individuals, their families, and caregivers. One of the greatest honors in my career was The Dylan Lee James Family Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in 2006, to give states the option to create a Medicaid “buy in” for families of children with disabilities whose family income or resources were up to 300% of federal poverty level. In addition, after six long years of working with my colleagues, organizations, and families across the country, in December 2014 we also passed the ABLE Act.
This nearly decade-long legislative effort has allowed families who have a child with a disability to save for their long-term care through 529-style savings accounts. These two landmark pieces of legislation are two major victories for the disability community and I am so proud that I was able to be a part of these efforts.
Last year, I was also fortunate to have had the opportunity to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies as a father, as a Member of Congress, and as a fierce advocate for the disability community to discuss why I believe research in this area is critical to helping the disability community and providing them with every resource to give them the best quality of life possible.