Dear House of Representatives, Congress and President Obama,

Thank you.

Thank you for passing a law today that allows me to save for my daughter’s future.

President Obama signed the Tax Extenders package into law on Dec. 19, thereby signing the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law. The ABLE Act is the most bipartisan, bicameral bill that went before the 113th Congress.

Thank you for giving me the ability to put money away for her future in much the same way I can for my able-bodied son.  You see, up until Dec. 14, if a person with special needs had more than $2,000 worth of assets in their name, the government could freeze benefits such as Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, or Social Security Disability Income.  Essentially forcing them to live in poverty if they weren’t fortunate enough to have someone to support them or a special needs trust set up in their name.

My daughter has Down syndrome.  She is 4. She can do all sorts of things any kid her age can do.  Because that’s what we expect of her.  Give her a challenge and she will rise to it.  I’ve never let Down syndrome dampen my hopes for attending her college graduation, living on her own, holding her own job, or being a productive member of society.  Her life is worth just as much as mine.  The ABLE Act is our government’s acknowledgement of that.

Congress, House of Representatives, President Obama, Thank you for believing in my girl.  Recognizing that she has a future.  That it can and WILL be bright.  Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, all 50 states – now it’s up to you to enact this law at the state level.

My girl and I are depending on you.

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