On Friday, September 26, 2014, the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education (MD-CARE) Amendments were signed into law by President Obama! Nearly 150 bipartisan Senators and Representatives cosponsored this bill, and it passed both chambers of Congress unanimously.
The MD-CARE Act has been extremely influential for the muscular dystrophy community. In the 14 years since the original bill's passage in 2000, federal funding for the muscular dystrophies has increased from $17 million to $75 million, with the pharmaceutical industry and private investments also contributing to the promising current state of science and research.
Over the past eight months, MDF community members have introduced Congress to myotonic dystrophy and educated legislators about the importance of passing this bill. You have written letters, visited district offices, made phone calls, shared your voice via SpeakingPhoto, and even held meetings with your members of Congress and their staff in Washington, DC. Additionally, the bill's sponsors, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Representatives Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), have worked tirelessly to ensure that the muscular dystrophy landscape is changed forever. Without the support of so many Americans living with muscular dystrophy, especially DM, this bill would not have had the successes that it has enjoyed.
Please take a moment to thank your Senators and Representative for passing the MD-CARE Amendments! Even if you have already written to them as part of our 500 Voices Campaign, continuing to follow up and establish relationships with them is critical to our future advocacy efforts.
MDF and its partners will continue to work with Congress and federal agencies to ensure that the recent amendments are properly implemented, and that our community continues to be addressed and prioritized in the future.
Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to making sure the MD-CARE Amendments passed. We are truly changing the face of myotonic dystrophy, and could not do it without your support!