Autism Speaks Joins Kansas Families to Answer Legislator Questions Raised About Kate’s Law | Feb. 20, 2009 #AutisticHistory #BanABA

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


Autism Speaks Joins Kansas Families to Answer Legislator Questions Raised About Kate’s Law

Law is Necessary to Change Insurance Law and End Healthcare Discrimination Against Children with Autism

Autism Speaks Joins Kansas Families to Answer Legislator Questions Raised About Kate’s Law


Kate’s Law is Necessary to Change Insurance Law and End Healthcare Discrimination Against Children with Autism


NEW YORK, NY (February 20, 2009) — Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization, today joined Kansas autism organizations and families in calling for the Kansas State Senate to pass insurance reform legislation (Senate Bill 12), known as “Kate’s Law.” Kate’s Law, would require private health insurance companies to provide coverage of up to $75,000 for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.


Kate’s Law recently had its first hearing in the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee, Chaired by Senator Ruth Teichman. Chairwoman Teichman, members of the Committee, and other Senators have raised several questions that focus on three main issues: 1) The medical necessity of the autism treatment covered under Kate’s Law; 2) The effect of Kate’s Law on insurance premiums; And 3) The current coverage for autism under the Kansas Mental Health Parity Act.


Autism is a medical condition. It is diagnosed by a medical doctor, not a school principal. Kate’s Law will give Kansas families access to the medically-necessary, evidence-based autism treatments that their children need. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, and ABA therapy are all treatments that are prescribed by licensed physicians or licensed psychologists for the treatment of autism. The obligation of the educational system is not to treat a disorder, but to accommodate the child with a disorder and facilitate their ability to learn in an educational environment. The Department of Defense’s Tri-Care health insurance plan for military dependents is specifically prohibited by federal law from covering “unproven care or special education.” Tri-Care provides coverage of the autism treatments cited in Kate’s Law as part of its Extended Care Health Option, because these treatments are medically-necessary.


The insurance companies are touting 2.5 percent increases in premiums, however they have failed to present a basis for these numbers. A recently released independent cost analysis of Kate’s Law, put together by the actuarial firm Oliver Wyman, estimated a premium increase much lower than the insurance company quote – as small as 0.70 percent and no larger than 1.07 percent, depending on the market receiving coverage.
Kate’s Law fills the enormous gaps in care for autism that are left by the Kansas Mental Health Parity Act. The Mental Health Parity Act does not cover the treatment that is most effective and most commonly-prescribed, for autism – ABA therapy.

Despite passage of the Mental Health Parity Act, despite 40 years of proven effectiveness in the treatment of autism, and despite being recommended by the Surgeon General some insurers have specific written policy statements stating that ABA therapy will not be covered. Others simply exclude behavioral therapy or habilitative treatments altogether. In short, the Kansas Mental Health Parity Act did very little to help children with autism access the therapies they need to treat their disorder, is neurobiological, not a mental health impairment. Kate’s Law is needed, so that children with autism can access the therapies they need. Families affected by autism simply do not have the energy or money to fight this battle in the courts any longer.


“During these difficult economic times are we really going to allow the insurance companies, one of the more solvent industries right now, to get off scott-free?” asked Elizabeth Emken, Vice President of Government Relations for Autism Speaks. “It is time that the insurance industry paid its fair share for the medical treatments of its own customers. Autism Speaks joins Kansas’ autism community in calling on the Senate to pass Kate’s Law and join the growing number of states that have ended healthcare discrimination against children with autism.”


To date, eight states – Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas — have enacted autism insurance legislative reform that requires insurers to cover ABA therapies, which typically cost upward of $50,000 a year – a cost well beyond the means of most families.
To learn more about the autism insurance initiative in Kansas, visit http://www.AutismVotes.org/Kansas.


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 http://www.autismspeaks.org.


The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism community.”



Note/Warning:

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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