Three Bills Could Have a Big Impact on People With Asthma and Allergies

 

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. During this month, our community seeks to raise greater awareness with family, friends, coworkers and others about what it is like to live with asthma and allergies. It’s also a good time to engage with your elected officials in Congress about several pieces of legislation that improve access to asthma and allergy treatments and medicines, and protect the rights of our patient community.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) asks you to reach out to your U.S. representative and senators about the following pieces of legislation that we hope to have enacted into law:

  • School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act (H.R. 2285)
  • Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights (S. 1418)
  • Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (S. 1318)

Stocking Quick-Relief Medicines in Schools

The School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act would increase the preference given in awarding certain allergy-related grants to states that allow trained school personnel to administer quick-relief medicines for allergies and reversible lower airway disorders. This bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by 40 Republican and Democratic representatives in the House. And it is currently before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Use our tool below to tell your representatives to support stocking quick-relief medicines in schools. Our tools allow you to send an email, post your message on Facebook or Twitter and/or call your representative. See our sample letter below. You can edit the message to add your personal story. To contact them, read the sample letter and then follow the steps:

Subject: Please Support the School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act!

Dear Congressman,

On behalf of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, I am writing to encourage you to cosponsor H.R. 2285, the School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act, sponsored by Representatives Phil Roe (R-TN) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD). This bipartisan legislation would increase the preference given in awarding certain allergy-related grants to states that allow trained school personnel to administer rescue medications for allergies and reversible lower airway disorders.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.6 percent of children between the ages of five and 11 years old, and 10.0 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17, have asthma. Further, 47.5 percent of children under 18 with asthma have reported having one or more asthma attacks. As these statistics show, asthma and other reversible lower airway disorders impact a significant percentage of school-aged children, and these students deserve to pursue their studies without fear that an attack at school won’t be properly treated.

By encouraging schools to put action plans in place and train personnel to administer life-saving drugs when necessary, the School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act will benefit parents, students, teachers, and school administrators across the country. Please contact John Witherspoon in Rep. Roe’s office at john.witherspoon@mail.house.gov to add your name as a cosponsor to H.R. 2285.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

[Your name is auto-inserted]




Rights for Airline Passengers With Asthma and Allergies

The Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights (S. 1418) and the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (S. 1318) relate to accommodations by airlines for people with asthma or allergies. These bills, introduced in the Senate, would allow air travelers to file a complaint in court against an airline. They could seek compensation if they felt they’ve been discriminated against because of their disability (including asthma and allergies). This is known as a “private right of action.”

S. 1418 was introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and S. 1318 was introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Both bills are currently before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Use our tool below to tell your senators to support protections for those with asthma and allergies while traveling with airlines. Our tools allow you to send an email, post your message on Facebook or Twitter and/or call your senators. See our sample letter below. You can edit the message to add your personal story. To contact them, read the sample letter and then follow the steps:

Subject: Please Support the Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights and Air Carrier Access Amendments Act

Dear Senator,

On behalf of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, I am writing to encourage you to cosponsor S. 1418, the Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights, and S. 1318, the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act. These bills would allow airline passengers to directly sue airlines who have taken discriminatory action against them due to a disability (such as asthma or allergy condition).

Allowing those who have been discriminated against to directly sue an airline, known as a “private right of action,” is critical because it allows people who have experienced discrimination in air travel to enforce their rights in court and creates accountability for the airlines when they deny passengers their federal rights. Under current law, those with a medical disability who feel they experienced discrimination from an air carrier can only file a complaint with the Department of Transportation (DOT).

S. 1418 was introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and S. 1318 was introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Both bills are currently before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

To cosponsor S. 1418, please contact Zach Radford in Senator Blumenthal’s office at Zachary_Radford@blumenthal.senate.gov. To cosponsor S. 1318, please contact Meghan Ladwig in Senator Baldwin’s office at meghan_ladwig@baldwin.senate.gov.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

[Your name is auto-inserted]



Please take the time today to contact your members of Congress and urge them to support these important bills! Also, remember to share your personal story or experience with asthma or allergies where noted in the sample letters. A copy of your message with also be shared with Melanie Carver, AAFA's Vice President, so we can follow up with your members of Congress.Thank you for helping us raise awareness and advocate for those with asthma and allergies.

AAFA’s Action Alerts notify advocates about pending federal or state asthma and allergy legislation. When you sign up as an AAFA advocate, you will receive email alerts on national or state issues. With your help, we can make a difference in the lives of people affected by asthma and allergies.

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