Rockville, MD, May 16, 2024 –Today the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health unanimously passed HR 7213 on a vote of 22-0. The Autism Society of America strongly supports this bill which reauthorizes and enhances the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act through 2029.  

“HR 7213 introduces critical improvements including heightened focus on those individuals with complex medical and behavioral support needs and their families”, stated Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America. “It also advances research to address those who need technology or other assistance to communicate through the addition of an Autism Intervention Research Network for Communication Needs (AIR-C). These improvements are in line with recommendations put forth by the Autism Society.” 

The Autism CARES Act is a pivotal law for individuals with Autism and their families to live fully. It is estimated that 1 in 36 children have been diagnosed with Autism in the U.S., and 5.4 million adults are Autistic. For these individuals and families, the Autism CARES Act is more than just a law; it is fundamental to improving the lives of people with Autism and their families. The Autism CARES Act provides critical funding for research into evidence-based interventions, education programs for pediatricians and other health professionals, and surveillance and early identification programs that directly improve the quality of life for individuals with Autism. 

Reauthorizing the Autism CARES Act is crucial for continuing the progress made in research, education, and training. The reauthorization is not just a policy decision, it demonstrates our collective commitment to meet the diverse needs of the Autism community, with the desire to live fully.  

With a sunset provision requiring the law to be reauthorized by September 30th, the Autism Society urges the full Energy and Commerce Committee to support this bill.