Stories from Ohio

John Boehner

On Wednesday, the House passed the ABLE Act, a bill that provides tax-exempt savings accounts for individuals with disabilities.  After the passage of H.R. 647 in the House, Speaker Boehner said, “The ABLE Act is a simple but powerful idea: give individuals with disabilities the same opportunity to put away tax-free money for things like school, retirement, and job training that any American has.”

Indeed, this bill will help many families around the country.  That includes folks like Chip Gerhardt, a Cincinnati government affairs executive.  Chip, whose 17-year old daughter Anne has Down Syndrome, was one of many to back this legislation.  In an interview, Speaker Boehner talked about the many effective advocates for this issue, and the personal impact it has on parents like Chip:

“We allow Americans to save for colleges for their kids. We allow Americans to save for their retirement, but for parents … of those with disabilities, there’s no legal way for them to save for those individuals,” Boehner said. “The whole concept here is helping people to be independent and give them a vehicle to save for themselves.” (USA TODAY, 12/3/14)

In addition, families and advocates around the region are speaking out in support of the ABLE Act.  This is from Boehner’s OH-08 blog:

·         “America represents opportunity.  Opportunity to achieve more than your parents and more than you would have ever imagined – this is the American dream.  People with disabilities deserve to have the same chance to achieve this dream, and the ABLE Act is a step in the right direction in providing that opportunity.”

Bill McCloy, father, Liberty Twp., OH

 ·         “For years, we have treated our daughter Anne like she is no different than anyone else and that a disability does not define who you are,” said Cincinnati father and NDSS board member Chip Gerhardt. “With the passage of the ABLE act, thousands of Ohioans like Anne will have the same kind of financial independence that everyone else has. We cannot thank Speaker Boehner, his staff and the rest of the House of Representatives for getting this done.”

Chip Gerhardt, father and NDSS board member, Cincinnati, OH

·         “I am so grateful that Speaker Boehner has provided the skilled leadership to get the ABLE Act through the House. This legislation will help families impacted by autism and other disabilities help themselves.”

– Marci Ingram, community volunteer and Autism Speaks advocate, Columbus, OH

 ·         “The ABLE Act will help to ensure that my son, and many other children with special needs like him, will be taken care of for years to come.  Having the ability to deposit funds that can be used to care for him in the future is a HUGE weight lifted off of our shoulders.  There is presently no alternative plan.  This leaves families desperate.  As parents of special needs kids, we want to provide for our children as long as possible.  The ABLE Act goes a long way into making this a reality.” 

– Bryan Osterday, father, Cincinnati, OH

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