National Eating Disorders Association
Blog

Moving Forward: Lobby Day Progress Report

Taryn O'Brien, STAR Program Manager

On October 10th, 200 passionate individuals converged in Washington, DC to meet with their representatives at NEDA’s first Federal Lobby Day, co-sponsored by the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED) and the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). Despite the government shutdown, the threat of a truckers strike around the city and pouring rain, participants made their way to the Hill to use their voice to make a positive change.

Lobby Day Progress

Yesterday, as a result of NEDA’s targeted outreach, Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced H.R.3662 to improve access to care across the country! This bi-partisan house bill is the counterpart to S.562 - legislation that our advocates lobbied for on October 10th! Keep the momentum going by asking your representative to co-sponsor the bill.

In addition:

  • Our advocates met with a total of 205 Congressional Offices on Lobby Day.
  • 10 new members of the House have joined the National Eating Disorders Awareness Caucus, bringing the total to 21 members.
  • 8 new members of the House signed on to support the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders (FREED) Act.
  • Congresswoman Ellmers and the members of the Caucus will be sending a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting research into the prevalence, death rates, and economic burden of eating disorders.

What Did We Lobby For?

Mental Health Access Improvement Act

Attendees asked their Senators to sign on as a co-sponsor of S.562, the Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2013. The bill provides for the reimbursement of services provided by Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) and Mental Health Counselors (MHCs) under Medicare part B. For individuals with eating disorders in rural areas, access to local Mental Health Counselors is vital.

Keep the momentum going by asking your representative to co-sponsor the bill.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Caucus

The National Eating Disorders Awareness Caucus’s mission is to increase national awareness about eating disorders and support those who suffer by seeking to enhance prevention, facilitate therapeutic advances and improve access to treatment.

Take a minute and ask your representative to join the caucus!    

Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders (FREED) Act

H.R. 2101, The Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders (FREED) Act of 2013, was created and introduced by the Eating Disorders Coalition. The FREED Act expands research, education and training on eating disorders, and improves access to care. Since our Lobby Day, H.R. 2101 now has 8 new co-sponsors!

Thank you to everyone who told their personal stories about how eating disorders have impacted their lives and discussed the ways in which legislators could support our mission. Your efforts had a real impact!