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Presidential campaigns are the most important moments in which Americans debate what kind of country we want to be - what are our priorities and how can we achieve them?

Autism is a national emergency, an epidemic, which requires an urgent national response.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has autism spectrum disorders ("autism") - up from 1 in 10,000 as recently as 1980.

Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and social groups, and the economic costs have been estimated at $137 billon per year at a cost to an affected family of up to $2.3 million. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.

Ignoring these astonishing facts, the Government of the United States still shows no urgency in addressing the epidemic rise in autism rates and the response from the current and former Administrations has been dismal. This year, federal research spending on autism will be lower than on many far less prevalent medical conditions. It will be less than our government will spend every 12 hours on the war in Afghanistan.

The many charitable, tax exempt organizations which serve the autism community are prevented, by law, from engaging in certain kinds of political activity defined by law. They cannot say all that needs to be said, in the ways it needs to be said, to or about the candidates.

The Autism Super PAC aims to make autism an important issue in the Presidential campaign, to insist that President Obama and Governor Romney pledge the next Administration to make autism a national priority.

The extended family of the autism community includes a sizeable percentage of the American people. We live in every state, including those considered most highly contested in this election. Joined by other millions of Americans, not directly affected by autism but believing that our national government should address national emergencies, we are a political force overlooked at great political peril by either candidate for President.
                 
The Autism Super PAC intends to demand that we be overlooked no more, both in the weeks between now and election day and in the months that follow when the new President should be judged against his policy commitments during the campaign.


Whether the next President will be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, he should commit, as a candidate, to send legislation on autism to Congress, during the first 100 days following his inauguration, which includes the policies listed here.

The Autism Super PAC seeks a pledge from the two candidates for President on these policies -

1. The creation of an Office of Autism Research within the National Institutes of Health.

This office should be modeled on the Office of AIDS Research, which has done so much to move AIDS from a universally fatal condition to a survivable chronic condition. The Office of Autism Research should be headed (as is the National Cancer Institute) by someone appointed by the President of the United States.

These structural changes will finally break through the bureaucratic jumble which has greatly reduced the return on investment of federal dollars already spent on autism research. This is about a clear line of authority over and accountability for federal autism policy.

2. The authorization of a doubling of autism research dollars between the Presidential inauguration of 2013 and the Presidential inauguration of 2017.

By the standards of the federal budget, this will still be pocket change, but the difference will allow enormous progress in scientific understanding of the causes and best therapeutic responses to autism.

3. The strategic goals of autism research, including the investigation of all potential environmental factors associated with the autism epidemic.

4. The amendment of the ERISA law,  to require all health plans covered under that law - providing health insurance to a majority of privately insured Americans - to cover all medically-indicated autism treatments and therapies including ABA.


Please register as an Autism Super PAC advocate (Click Here). Registered advocates will receive special updates and call to action alerts as our campaign heats up.

 

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Paid for by the Autism SuperPAC. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. www.AutismSuperPAC.org
©2012 THE AUTISM SUPER PAC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.