Autism Speaks | Virginia Mandated Benefits Commission Votes To Recommend Autism Insurance Reform Bill HB 1588 | Nov. 19, 2008 #AutisticHistory #BanABA


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

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Commission Votes 6-4 to Advance Bill on to Commerce and Labor Committee in the House of Delegates.

RICHMOND, VA (November 19, 2008) — Parents of children with autism and other advocates were in attendance today to witness the Mandated Health Insurance Benefits Special Advisory Commission vote on House Bill 1588, the autism insurance reform bill. The commission voted 6-4 to recommend the bill after Delegate

Bob Marshall of Loudon pledged he would do whatever it took to advance the legislation.

“Lives and futures of families were saved here today. I hope that the members of the Labor and Commerce Committee follow through with an action that will undoubtedly save lives and families.”

After hearing more debate and comments on the legislation, Chairman Tim Hugo of Fairfax made his plea to the Commission to act now.

“This is a big day for families with autistic children. I couldn’t vote to condemn any more children to darkness.”

The legislation now must follow the normal legislative process and will first be heard by the Commerce and Labor committee in the House of Delegates. A companion bill is expected to be filed in the Senate. “This is one step in the process and I encourage all Virginians to stay vigilant and help move this bill through the legislative process in January,” said Senator McEachin of Richmond.

Sponsored by Delegates Bob Marshall and David Poisson, both of Loudon, HB 1588 would require private health insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder for individuals under the age of 21. Coverage would be subject to an inflation adjusted maximum benefit of $36,000 annually. The bill includes diagnosis and coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.

“This is an important step toward insurance reform in the state of Virginia,” said Elizabeth Emken, Autism Speaks Vice President of Government Relations. “Our hope is that, by the end of this session, Virginia will join the growing ranks of states that have acted to address insurers’ discrimination against children with autism.”

Families affected by autism are often forced to pay out-of-pocket for medically necessary autism therapies, which can easily cost over $50,000 per year. Many families in Virginia and across the country are literally going broke. To address this issue, insurance reform legislation has already been passed in seven states, while some 20 states are expected to propose legislation in the upcoming legislative session.

About Autism
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation’s three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit

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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