[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
UnitedHealth must cover ‘core’ autism treatment, court rules
A UnitedHealth Group Inc unit ran afoul of a federal mental healthcare law by refusing to cover a “core” treatment for autism through an employee health plan it administered, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California ruled Friday that the plan’s exclusion of a form of therapy called applied behavior analysis (ABA) violated the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, ruling in favor of an anonymous plaintiff who sued United Behavioral Health on behalf of her son.
“It is tremendously significant that the court found this exclusion of coverage for the most widely used autism treatment to be illegal, and that the nation’s largest health insurer can be liable under federal law for enforcing it,” Caroline Reynolds of Zuckerman Spaeder, a lawyer for the plaintiff, said in a statement. “Because this exclusion has been in many United-administered plans for years, there are likely to be thousands of other children and families who have been similarly affected.”
“UnitedHealthcare covers ABA therapy based on individuals’ benefit plans and will continue to defend itself in this matter,” the insurer, which is represented by Jennifer Romano of Crowell & Moring, said in a statement.
Plaintiff “Jane Doe” filed the 2019 lawsuit on behalf of her son, “John Doe,” against UnitedHealth in its capacity as administrator of a health plan covering employees of information technology company Wipro Ltd, where John Doe’s father worked until February 2020.
She alleged that the insurer breached its fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when it refused to cover ABA for John Doe between 2017 and 2019, under a plan provision that specifically excluded ABA coverage for autism.
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.