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Arthritis and the Economic Stimulus Bill

Arthritis and the Economic Stimulus Bill

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Whenever I receive an update or an alert from the Arthritis or Lupus foundations, I pass it on here.  This evening I was checking my email and saw this from yesterday.  I was talking to my husband about what’s going on right now with the Senate yanking the 5.8 billion Prevention and Wellness Fund from it’s bill, and he told me that pulling for money (hoping/praying) to fund arthritis research isn’t what the economic stimulus is all about.  Not his exact words, (he’s asleep now and I want to wake him up and ask him what he said again)  Basically he’s saying that although it’s a great thing, putting money towards arthritis research isn’t going to positively help the economy short term and that’s what the stimulus package is all about.  Long term for sure, but as for helping out now, nuh uh.  And I say as an arthritis sufferer, I DON’T CARE.  Is that wrong?  Should I care that the money that will go towards research isn’t really what the economic stimulus package is really all about?  That’s one man’s opinion anyway, what do you think?


From the Arthritis Foundation:

Urge Congress to Fund Arthritis Research and Prevention!   
Take Action!

Action is Needed Now

On Tuesday, the Senate passed an $838 billion economic stimulus bill.  The House passed its own $819 billion version of the bill on Jan. 28.   House and Senate negotiators will meet quickly to resolve differences in the wide-ranging package of spending and tax cuts (HR 1). Congress wants to pass a final bill in both chambers and send it to President Obama before leaving for a scheduled week long recess at the end of the week.

Arthritis Prevention:  The Senate removed entirely a $5.8 billion Prevention and Wellness Fund provision from its bill.  The House of Representatives included $3 billion in public health funding in its version of the bill.  The Arthritis Foundation urges Congress to include this important House provision to fund potential arthritis programs in the stimulus bill.   Investing in arthritis prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in states across America, is not only an investment to help stimulate the economy, but also an investment in a healthier America.  Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States.  Investing in prevention has a proven return. For every $1 invested in community level prevention, there is a savings of over $5 dollars in public and private health care expenditures within just 5 years. Support for the CDC and evidence based state and private programs to combat arthritis will help reduce disability, pain and health care costs for the millions of Americans with arthritis.

Arthritis Research:  As we alerted you last week, the Senate did include $10 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health.  However, no such provision exists in the House bill.  The Arthritis Foundation urges Congress to retain this Senate passed critical funding for our nation’s biomedical research enterprise.  In 2007, every $1 million that the public invested in NIH generated $2.21 million in new business activity across the nation.  Within weeks, funding for high-quality, peer reviewed arthritis research projects could be allocated nationwide, stimulating local economies through salaries and purchase of equipment, laboratory supplies, and vendor services.

Please contact your Members of Congress NOW about arthritis research and prevention funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Here’s an article on the subject if you’d like to check it out.  Until next time



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Lame Duck Session

Lame Duck Session

What a fitting title, lame duck.  We are going to have to wait until next month or possibly next year to see what happens with the Arthritis act. There was no Senate consideration of the bill during the November session.  But let’s not get discouraged.  Thanks to all of you who wrote letters; I don’t think that they were in vain.  The Arthritis Foundation even states that our work is evidenced with the unanimous House passage of the Arthritis Act in late September.  We WILL see this through!

Thanks again,


Arthritis Act; Last Chance To Be Heard

Arthritis Act; Last Chance To Be Heard

Directly from the Arthritis Foundation:

Take Action Today!
Last Chance to Pass the Arthritis Act (H.R. 1283)

Take Action!

Contact Your Senator Today!

As you know, the House-passed Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act (HR 1283) continues to await Senate action.  The Senate will return the week of November 17 for a short “lame duck” session.   The House-passed Arthritis bill must pass the Senate during this session under the unanimous consent calendar (without objection by any single Senator) so the President can sign it into law. Democratic Senators have already cleared the bill for a vote. Please take a moment to personalize and send a quick email to your Republican U.S. Senator(s) and tell them you want to see action completed on the Arthritis Act this year.  We have come so far….this is the final stretch.
Thank you!

They make it so easy to write a letter.  All you have to do is go here and type in your zip code and it will take you to the form letter with either your senator’s email address or street address, your choice.  The form letter is completely editable so you can add your story to it if you’d like to personalize it.  When I wrote I added a small paragraph telling them why it was so important to me.  We have come so far and lets pray that this passes.  Thank you to everyone who contacts their senators, I appreciate it so much.


ADA Amendments Act of 2008

ADA Amendments Act of 2008

Woot Woot!!! How’s that for an educated sentence?  The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 passed.  What does this mean for you and me?  Let’s have a read

** The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (S. 3406, passed by the Senate unanimously on September 11, 2008):

  • Overturns the erroneous Supreme Court decisions that have eroded the protections for people with disabilities under the ADA, restoring original Congressional intent.
  • Rejects strict interpretation of the definition of disability, and makes it absolutely clear that the ADA is intended to provide broad coverage to protect anyone who faces discrimination on the basis of disability.
  • Strikes a balance between employer and employee interests.
  • Prohibits the consideration of mitigating measures such as medication, prosthetics, and assistive technology, in determining whether an individual has a disability.
  • Covers people who experience discrimination based on a perception of impairment regardless of whether the individual experiences disability.
  • Provides that reasonable accommodations are only required for individuals who can demonstrate they have an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, or a record of such impairment. Accommodations need not be provided to an individual who is only “regarded as” having an impairment.
  • Is supported by a broad coalition of civil rights groups, disability advocates, and employer trade organizations.  **

Congress overturned two Supreme Court cases that narrowed the scope of the ADA.  It’s now made clear that bodily functions such as immune system, digestion, brain, circulatory functions and more can be just as disabling as not being able to see, hear, or walk.  Here’s the biggie for me-Congress has said “An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.” This is a first!!!

I’m not in remission although I pray for it each day.  But the nature of the beast when it comes to autoimmunity for me personally is having really, really bad days then having what I would call a ‘good day’.  Before I got sick I would NEVER had called it a ‘good day’ for just having some pain while climbing the stairs instead of needing help, or having to lay down for an hour because of extreme fatigue as opposed to sleeping for 20 hours straight on a ‘bad’ day when the body says g’nite only to wake up hurting so bad you pray for sleep again, or just having to take one pain pill that day, or the burning is at a 4 on the pain scale, yay!!  But that is an extremely good day and they are few and far between for me.  Also having an autoimmune disease means taking meds that compromise our immune systems leaving us wide open for every cold, flu and nasty infection that comes down the pike.  I have to take them every day, no matter what.  If I didn’t my body would go into attack mode…it sucks.  That’s what it all boils down to is, it sucks.

(OK, now I’m a little off topic and rambling but my typing fingers have a mind of their own tonight.)
It’s bad enough to have a lifelong, chronic, invisible, misunderstood, disabling, painful, depressing, incurable, “what’s it called?” disease, and to top it off, when your body says”That’s enough.  I’m shutting you down.” and you can’t work, disability tells you that you are not sick enough.  HA!  That pisses me off to no end.  The first time I filed for disability I was nixed within 3 months.  I got a letter telling me that I was well enough to work 40 hour weeks.  As soon as I read that sentence, I started laughing.  It started out slow, and it built up and built up until I was chortling like a maniac.  The Big C was getting concerned (I’d say scared, but he say’s he doesn’t get scared, hrmph)  At the time that I received the letter I was using a walker to walk and a wheelchair if we were going to be out for any length of time.  I had just started taking plaquenil and it takes time to start working.  I never thought there would be a day when I would be fighting to be considered disabled.  I don’t want to be disabled!!!!! I want to rewind time and be healthy.  Wow, how did I get off on this tangent??  This post was supposed to be good news…I guess good news with a little bitching thrown in.

That’s it for me tonight.  I’ve got the flu, LOL!  That’s probably why I’m so snippy.  Until next time

**taken from the website Committee on Education and Labor, Us House Of Representatives

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