The Eating Disorder Coalition (EDC) applauds Representative Ted Deutch’s (D-FL) introduction of H.R. 2101 the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act of 2013 (FREED Act). The FREED Act is comprehensive legislation that is a crucial step in responding to eating disorders.
“Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and yet those suffering too often find themselves marginalized and without treatment,” said Congressman Deutch. “The ignorance in our society surrounding eating disorders is costing us lives, and the federal government has a responsibility to take action. I have sponsored the FREED Act to better educate our communities about eating disorders, provide for much-needed research, and ultimately improve access to treatment before it’s too late.”
EDC President Johanna Kandel said, “We thank Congressman Deutch for being a champion for eating disorders and are grateful that he has introduced this important piece of legislation. The FREED Act will not only help us to better understand eating disorders, it will improve the access to treatment for those currently suffering with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not a partisan issue and the FREED Act has the potential to save thousands of lives. We urge Congress to pass this bill quickly.”
The FREED Act would provide funding and direction to NIH for research and surveillance, provides for education and prevention activities, and improves access to treatment of eating disorders by requiring coverage of eating disorders be consistent with coverage of medical/surgical benefits.
The introduction of the FREED Act was a focus of EDC’s spring lobby day. EDC members and supporters traveled to Washington to advocate for the introduction of the FREED Act, and to increase support for FREED and eating disorders policy on the Hill.
Original cosponsors of H.R. 2101 are: Reps. Gerald Connolly (VA-11), John Conyers (MI-13), Keith Ellison (MN-5), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Hank Johnson (GA-4), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4), James Moran (VA-8), Patrick Murphy (FL-18), Richard Nolan (MN-8), Chellie Pingree (ME-1), Jared Polis (CO-2), Allyson Schwartz (PA-13), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23).