Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest autism prevalence report:

“Autism awareness and research is a cause that has long been near and dear to my heart. In fact, it’s the last issue I worked on in the closing hours of my service in the Florida Legislature and I remain supportive of those struggling with the disorder. In the midst of the CDC’s latest prevalence report showing a dramatic increase in the number of families affected by autism, we are reminded of why this issue needs greater attention. At a time when the only commonality in Washington seems to be its divisiveness, there is no better reason for us to come together than to ensure a promising future for our children.

“According to today’s report, autism affects one in 68 children every year — nearly a 30% increase from two years ago. Autism is a disorder that does not discriminate; it affects every race, ethnicity and income level. It affects real people, with real families who face real struggles, and it operates on a broad spectrum, manifesting itself in many different ways. While we may not have the science or medicine to prevent it at this time, our understanding of what it means to have autism is only improving. This encourages us to work toward helping those struggling with the disorder — which is exactly what the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act aims to do.

“Today’s announcement highlights the experiences of families affected by autism and the need for a national strategy to address the issue. The ABLE Act, which would ease financial strains by providing tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities, is a simple solution that offers significant and meaningful support.

“It has been a long-held American belief that we must be a voice for those who struggle to find their own. As a society, we must never accept that a person may be unable to fulfill their full potential because of the circumstances of their birth. Helping those with disabilities, particularly children, is something that distinguishes us as a country, and it is a value we must work to maintain.

“Today, I am proud to stand with the autism community and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to respond to this public health crisis.”