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Plain Writing Act of 2010 Passes the House

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The Plain Writing Act was passed by the House of Representatives as part of Sunshine Week, a national initiative to encourage open government. The Plain Writing Act will require federal agencies to write public documents in plain language.

Rep. Bruce Braley, who introduced the bill, said:

“There is no reason why the federal government can’t write these forms and other public documents in a way we can all understand. Writing government documents in plain language will increase government accountability and will save Americans time and money.”


The Plain Writing Act gives agencies one year to begin to use clear, concise, well-organized writing in public documents. Agencies can meet this requirement by following the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.

Rep. Braley is also credited with getting plain language into the Health Care Reform bill. The legislation requires health plans to make certain information available in plain language, defined as “language that the intended audience, including individuals with limited English proficiency, can readily understand and use because that language is concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing.”

Next Steps: Read the full text of the Plain Writing Act. Join CommunicateHealth in advocating for the passage of the companion bill in the Senate. Contact your Senators and urge them to pass S 574.

Stacy Robison, MPH, MCHES

About the Author

A self-proclaimed health literacy geek and an expert in clear communication, Stacy is responsible for leading CommunicateHealth’s content and creative excellence. Since co-founding the company at the age of 30, Stacy has been recognized as an innovative business leader by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Healthcare News, among other media outlets, discussing a variety of issues from entrepreneurship to health behavior change.

More posts by Stacy Robison, MPH, MCHES
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