Public Policy2

Make Your Voice Heard!

Your Voice Can Make a Difference!

A new Administration and Congress always ushers in big changes to Washington.

As we reflect on the first 100 days of the new Trump Administration, as well as the 115th Congress, their efforts have been centered on priority issues like health care reform, tax reform and more importantly, approval of the remainder of the fiscal year 2017 budget (through September 30, 2017).

The TAA is working hard to increase awareness, understanding and support for Tourette Syndrome across the Congress and Administration. We are off to a great start! In March, more than 100 participants stormed Capitol Hill in a sea of teal to educate Members, Senators and their staff on Tourette Syndome and Tic Disorders and the need for federal funding. These advocates requested support for our top public policy priority for the Tourette Association of America for continued funding of $2 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Tourette Syndrome Public Health, Education and Research Program.

Why is this program vital for Tourette Syndrome?

The program is done in partnership with the TAA and is designed to reach parents, educators, pediatricians, physicians and other health workers to increase scientific knowledge on the prevalence, risk factors and co-morbidities of Tourette Syndrome. The education of medical professionals and educators is critical to ensuring those diagnosed with TS or Tic Disorders receive the diagnosis, care, treatment and accommodations they need. In addition, a better understanding of the prevalence, demographics, risk factors and co-morbidities is critically important to set the direction of research, treatment and outreach.

If you have not already done so, we strongly encourage you to Take Action and use our online advocacy tool to ask your Representative and Senators to support the program among our other top public policy priorities. While we have not seen a detailed budget proposal for the President’s FY18 Budget Request, a budget cut of ~18% was listed for Health and Human Services which houses both the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health. Since Congress ultimately drafts the budget, there is no better time to reach out and ask your Representative and Senators to ask for their support. Add your personal story to the letter to explain why these programs are so meaningful for you and your family. It is simple and quick and will benefit the entire Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders community.

With any new Administration it takes time before campaign promises become real policy to debate and discuss. TAA is here in Washington to engage in and monitor policy development of importance to everyone in the Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders community on a daily basis. As policies on education, healthcare reform, mental health parity and other key issues begin to develop and take shape, we will provide updates on their importance to our community. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact TAA’s Vice President, Public Policy, Diana Felner, at diana.felner@tourette.org or 718-224-2999 x202.