Autism Speaks Applauds Pennsylvania House Speaker Dennis O’Brien & State Lawmakers for Passing Strongest Autism Insurance Mandate in the Nation | July 3, 2008 #AutisticHistory #BanABA

Ban aba

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]


(NEW YORK, NY – July 3, 2008) — Autism Speaks today applauded Pennsylvania House Speaker Dennis O’Brien and state lawmakers for passing the strongest autism insurance reform legislation in the country. The bill (HB 150) to create a new “Autism Spectrum Disorders Coverage” provision of Pennsylvania insurance law was amended by the House on Tuesday and sent back to the Senate on Wednesday night where it passed 49-1.  Autism Speaks thanked bill co-sponsors House Speaker Dennis O’Brien and Senator Jane Orie, and Senators Don White, Dominic Pileggi, Joseph Scarnati, Michael Stack, Robert Mellow and Anthony Williams for their support in helping to protect the children of Pennsylvania with autism spectrum disorders.

“We agree with Speaker OBrien that the House amendments make the strongest autism insurance mandate bill in the nation even stronger,” said Elizabeth EmkenAutism Speaks vice president of government relations. “We thank the members of House for their unanimous support and the members of the Senate for their nearly unanimous support as we continue to work together to ensure fair treatment and proper health care for all children with autism. We will continue to urge other states to follow suit and enact similar legislation to end autism discrimination in insurance coverage across the country.”

The Pennsylvania bill provides $36,000 a year for Applied Behavior Analysis and other necessary treatments up to age 21, with no lifetime cap. It also creates a first ever, under Pennsylvania law, expedited appeals procedure for denied claims, as a safeguard to ensure the law is followed. The bill also turns the existing state welfare program for autism into a statutory requirement, to ensure that those who receive government provided services can continue to do so, while allowing for the development of a private sector delivery system with insurance reimbursement, offering families an alternative to coverage through Medicaid.

The amended version of the bill includes new wording that will ensure greater continuity of care for children on private insurance and for children using Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance program. The bill also now states that the autism diagnosis will last for “at least” 12 months (versus only 12 months.) “This distinction will ease the burden on parents because they will not be required to have their child diagnosed every year,” said Emken.

The Pennsylvania bill addresses discrimination against individuals with autism, and provides them the same medical necessity standards as afforded individuals with cancer, diabetes, and the common cold, allowing individuals with autism to be treated as all others are in the private insurance market. 

The bill is expected to be signed into law by the governor in the next ten days. Once enacted, the law will require private insurers to provide coverage beginning in July 2009.

More With Autism Votes


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 workIn 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.

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