Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Commend President Obama for launching a $100 million initiative to further scientific research of brain disorders
In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, President Barack Obama has launched a $100 million brain science initiative “designed to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain.” The acronym for the initiative is BRAIN, or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. The focus will be on brain disorders such as autism, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.
The $100 million will go to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation. Says Obama: “As humans, we can identify galaxies light years away, we can study particles smaller than an atom. But we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter between our ears.”
In addition, Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect in 2014, will require insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions, including autism spectrum disorders and brain injuries.
To give some perspective, 52% of people with disabilities earn less than $25,000 a year and desperately need insurance coverage and other help. An estimated 2 million Americans have an autism spectrum disorder; 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, 2.2 million Americans have epilepsy, and 1.7 Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury each year, not including those who suffer strokes due to internal causes. Disability programs cost taxpayers $260 billion a year.
Commend President Obama for his commitment to help people with brain disorders get health care, and for enabling NIH to conduct pioneering research that may one day help people with brain disorders function better.
Dear President Obama,
As we’re sure you know, there has been a lot of recent news coverage about insurance discrimination against people with autism spectrum disorders. People with autism and other brain disorders have tremendous difficulty with employment, and due to insurance discrimination they also have tremendous difficulty getting treatment to make them more employable.
That’s why we’re so happy that your recent $100 million BRAIN initiative will be put into effect next year. 52% of people with disabilities make less than $25,000 a year, and without your initiative they were unlikely to do any better. People with many types of brain disorders now have more hope of getting treatment, finding work, and perhaps even being cured one day.
On behalf of the 2 million Americans with autism spectrum disorders, the 5.2 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, the 2.2 million Americans with epilepsy, and the 1.7 Americans who suffer a traumatic brain injury every year, thank you.
[Your Name Here]