ACTION ALERT: Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2011 (HR 2239)

UPDATE: HR 2239 did not pass in the 112th Congress. In February 2013, the Act was reintroduced in the 113th Congress as HR 842. Please see the March 2, 2013 post or click on the HR 842 category on the blog sidebar for updated information.

This bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 16. U.S. citizens, please contact your Representative now to ask for support.

IBS Impact thanks IFFGD for its work in bringing this bipartisan bill to fruition and urges IBS Impact members and site visitors to advocate for this landmark legislation on behalf of people with IBS and related disorders. The bill was introduced by Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI-5) and is currently cosponsored by Representative James Moran (D-VA-8) In order to pass the House, it needs support from 218 Representatives, or a majority of the House.

For more information, see IFFGD’s link at
There is also a link there to the text of the actual bill.

To find contact information for your Representative, see

Check back on this site or join IBS Impact for updates as they occur.

This is major legislation on behalf of people with IBS and other functional GI or motility disorders (such as GERD, gastroparesis, chronic intestinal psuedoobstruction, functional dyspesia, cyclic vomiting syndrome, Hirschsprung’s disease, chronic bowel incontinence from various causes, and many other disorders that collectively affect about 1 in 4 Americans. IBS is the most common of these.) but it will take time, effort and advocacy from affected people and our supporters to show Congress that this is important enough to pass and enact.

Please write or call your federal Representative (not your Senators, the President, your Governor or other local officials. They have no control over anything that happens in the House of Representatives!) and ask for his/her co-sponsorship of this bill. State who you are and where you live in his/her district. This is very important so the Representative’s staff knows you are a real person and you are actually an eligible voter in that district. They will not pay attention to people who do not live there. Tell briefly why you are interested in this bill, again so they know who you are and why the bill is important– such as have had IBS for X years, have had difficulty finding adequate relief or have a family member with IBS, etc. If you are prepared with a few reputable facts and details about IBS in general to show that this is a widespread problem, not just your personal problem, these also help in showing credibility on the issue. So does familiarity with your Representative’s record on or interest in other health issues, but if you do not know these things, telling your personal experience is fine. Be sure to say thank you. Then pass the word to family, friends, coworkers or classmates who have been supportive of you with your IBS.

You do not have to be an excellent writer, just one that your Representative and his or her staff will see as a real person with real issues and real needs, not a canned request copied and pasted from somebody else’s letter. Keep your message short– one page or less.

This is a major opportunity for the IBS community and its various sites and organizations to come together, regardless of political, philosophical or personality differences, make our needs known, and do something to make our lives better in the future. Self-advocacy to get legislation enacted takes time, effort and patience, but it is possible if more people are willing to make noise publicly like other health and disability groups.

For all those with IBS who complain that nobody understands and nobody wants to do anything for us, now is your chance to make yourself heard. Some people want to understand and help. Congress has the power to make this bill happen. Each of us has the power to make it happen by coming out of the closet, getting over the embarrassment and asking publicly and persistently for this very specific help. It only takes a few minutes to write an email or pick up the phone. Please do it.

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