Boxer and Bond Introduce Bill To Provide Relief for Millions with Arthritis
Media Contact:Carol GalbreathArthritis Foundation(404) 965-7595
ATLANTA, May 6, 2009 -- A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate today will strengthen efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis – the nation’s most common cause of disability. The bi-partisan legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Kit Bond (R-Mo.), and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) will address a disease that impacts more than 46 million adults and nearly 300,000 children.
"Even as the number of people with arthritis rises, federal funding for arthritis research has declined in today’s dollar, and intervention programs that could limit the impact are being underutilized."
John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation
"I am proud to sponsor this legislation with Senators Bond and Kennedy. By learning more about the causes of this devastating condition, we can provide millions of children and adults living with arthritis better treatments and a new sense of hope," said Boxer.
Arthritis is a debilitating disease that comes with a stiff price tag, costing the U.S. economy $128 billion annually in direct and indirect medical costs. It accounts for 44 million outpatient visits, 992,100 hospitalizations and 9,367 deaths.
The Arthritis Foundation applauds the efforts of Boxer and Bond for introducing the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act (S. 984) and urges Congress to take swift action.
"Even as the number of people with arthritis rises, federal funding for arthritis research has declined in today's dollar, and intervention programs that could limit the impact are being underutilized," says John H. Klippel, MD, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation.
The Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act would enhance rheumatic disease research and expand efforts to prevent, treat and care for people with arthritis and related rheumatic diseases by:
Enhancing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health activities related to arthritis
Expanding and strengthening National Institutes of Health programs relating to juvenile arthritis
Establishing a juvenile arthritis population database
Enhancing support for training programs
Establishing a loan repayment program for pediatric rheumatologists to address the country’s severe shortage of these critical health care providers
Most Americans are unaware of the seriousness of arthritis and the impact it can have on their lives. As the baby boomer population ages, the prevalence of arthritis is expected to rise significantly by 40 percent, from 46 million Americans now to 67 million Americans by 2030. The Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act will expand the reach of effective strategies aimed at disability prevention and management.
"Arthritis is not just an old person's disease; it is a national epidemic that afflicts people of all ages. This bipartisan bill will provide the federal investment needed to beat this painful disease," said Bond.
The Arthritis Foundation urges Americans, both young and old, to show support for this bill by contacting their members of Congress. Visit the Arthritis Foundation Web site at www.arthritis.org/advocacy.php to become an advocate.
About the Arthritis FoundationThe Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple services points located throughout the country.The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $400 million in research grants since 1948. The foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.