Skip to Content
Home | news | Press Releases

Press Releases

Reps. Dingell, Upton, Fitzpatrick and Blunt Rochester Introduce the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act

Legislation would strengthen public health response to asthma, help provide relief to the over 25 million Americans with the disease

Washington, D.C.  - Today, Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Fred Upton (R-MI), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (R-DE) introduced the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act, legislation that would expand federal, state, and local efforts to improve care for individuals with asthma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 25 million people, including over 5 million children, live with asthma in the United States. Asthma disproportionately impacts women and minority communities who bear the brunt of the disease. Individuals living in poverty, as measured by the federal poverty line, are also more likely to suffer from asthma. Additionally, asthma imposes significant economic burdens, costing the United States over $80 billion in medical and indirect costs in the form of missed days of school and work.

The Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act expands the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program to all 50 states. The National Asthma Control Program helps health departments across the country ensure the availability of and access to guidelines-based medical management and pharmacotherapy for all people with asthma to address the public health burden of the disease. The legislation also directs the CDC to collaborate with state and local health departments to provide information and education to the public regarding asthma. Additionally, the legislation requires the development of state plans around public health responses to asthma, particularly for disproportionately affected populations, and mandates the collection and coordination of data on the impact of asthma.

“Michigan has one of the highest prevalence rates of asthma in the country, and action is needed to reduce the burden of this disease in my home state and across the country,” said Rep. Dingell. “The Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act will strengthen the public health response to this disease and help all Americans with this disease live healthier lives, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure this legislation becomes law.”

“Asthma can affect anyone  - millions of Americans struggle with asthma every day, especially in Michigan. The Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act will change lives and help Americans with asthma lead healthier lifestyles through this nationwide effort to bolster asthma care and awareness,” said Rep. Upton. “We are losing to many lives to what could have been a preventable death. This is truly an urgent need that must be met, and I am proud to lead this effort and provide real, live-saving, results.”

“Asthma is a widespread and costly disease that impacts over 25 million adults and children in the United States. It is past time for Congress to address asthma’s public health burden, which is why I am pleased to join my colleagues to introduce the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act. This bipartisan legislation will help strengthen the public health response to asthma and improve care for individuals living with this debilitating disease,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick.

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act. This bill will help Delawareans across our state with asthma lead healthier and more productive lives,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “Expansion of the National Asthma Control Program will support the state in improving the quality of asthma care, improve asthma management in schools, foster policies to help reduce air pollution, and reduce disparities in the prevalence of asthma.”

“The Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act will ensure a coordinated nationwide public health response to support the health of the nearly 25 million children and adults living with asthma in the United States,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “The American Lung Association is proud to support this legislation and committed to ensuring it becomes law so that lives can be saved and the burden of asthma for millions of Americans can be improved.” 

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is proud to support the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act. The bill will expand one of the most important government programs helping the asthma community in the United States. Asthma costs the US over $80 billion annually. Over 3,000 people die each year from asthma. Our Asthma Disparities in America Report shows that asthma still disproportionately impacts Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous Americans. Asthma is also the most common chronic condition among children in the United States, affecting over 6 million children. The Family Asthma Act will allow the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program to serve all 50 states and direct the CDC to collaborate with state and local health departments to educate the public about asthma. We thank Representatives Dingell and Upton for their commitment to helping children and adults with asthma lead full and healthy lives, and carrying on the legacy of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings.”-- Kenneth Mendez, President and CEO Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

“More than 24 million Americans – including 6 million children – live with asthma and 10 people die every day from the disease. It is imperative that we do all we can to improve asthma care and provide resources, particularly for those living in underserved communities. Thanks to many advances in healthcare through the years, asthma is a treatable and manageable disease. We urge support for the Elijah Cummings Family Asthma Act to expand asthma education and awareness nationwide through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Asthma Control Program. It takes all of us working together, at the federal, state and local levels, to ensure no more lives are needlessly lost to asthma. We can’t think of a more fitting tribute to the late Congressman Elijah Cummings than to see this important legislation become law.” – Tonya Winders, President and CEO, Allergy & Asthma Network

Click here for the bill text.
Back to top