Dear Representative _________,
I am writing to express support and ask you to co-sponsor H.R. 1614, “The Family Cord Blood Banking Act.” This critical bipartisan legislation will make cord blood banking services a qualified medical expense, thereby allowing individuals and families to use tax advantaged dollars to pay for cord blood banking through flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) or the medical expenses tax deduction.
As a parent who chose to bank my child’s cord blood even though I could not use tax-free dollars to pay for it, I know it can be a daunting financial decision. That is why H.R. 1614, which significantly reduces the cost of cord blood banking for American families, depending on their tax bracket, is so important. It will make this critical health decision so much easier!
Cord blood is rich, non-controversial source of unique stem cells for current and emerging therapies. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood have been used in more than 15,000 transplants worldwide during the last 20 years to treat a wide range of diseases in both adults and children. They are also showing promise in research for regenerative medicine including treatment for diabetes, hearing loss and various forms of brain injury including cerebral palsy.
That said, the average cost of cord blood banking, as much as $2,000 for collection and processing and up to $150 per year for storage, is simply not affordable for many families. However, the fundamental value of these stem cells is the reason many expectant parents take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to store their child’s cord blood in a family bank. Unlike other medical therapies that can be acquired at any time, the very nature of cord blood requires that it be processed and stored before it can be used as a medical therapy. Thus, cord blood banking should be considered as a medical expense even though the use of these cells may not come until the future.
The “Family Cord Blood Banking Act” will amend IRS code and make cord blood banking more affordable for American families. I strongly urge you to co-sponsor this important legislation and support its passage in Congress.