Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla) introduced House Resolution 384 to the House of Representatives “recognizing the importance of increased awareness of sleep apnea, and for other purposes.” House Resolution 384 was submitted on April 30 and has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
“I got a call about month ago from the deputy chief of staff for Congressman Bilirakis, and he advised me that the Congressman was introducing a resolution wanting to increase awareness about sleep apnea,” says Ed Grandi, executive director for the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA). “Congressman Bilirakis might utilize the time set aside at the beginning of the congressional day to speak on the subject of sleep apnea.”
According to Grandi, Mike Honda (D-Calif) has also been vocal about supporting sleep apnea research and awareness. “This could be the beginning of a bipartisan effort to raise awareness,” says Grandi. “This dovetails nicely with the ASAA’s efforts to raise awareness of congressional staff and even the President.”
“The ASAA is hopeful that this is the beginning of a much larger effort to recognize sleep apnea as a serious condition,” adds Grandi.
Although House Resolution 384 could be a welcome boost to raising awareness in Washington, Grandi stresses that this is only a small first step.
“In order to take advantage of this, it will take a lot of work and it will be a long process. The ASAA has offered its help to Congressman Bilirakis’s office. Hopefully, we can get a congressional briefing set up and bring in some guest speakers,” says Grandi.