[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Unprecedented Week for Autism Insurance Reform As Three More States Act To End Discrimination Against Children With Autism
Battle Continues at State and Federal Levels to Ensure Every Person with Autism Has Access to Necessary Treatments
Washington, DC (April 2, 2010) – Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today joined with grassroots advocates to celebrate the passage of three more state autism insurance reform bills this week in Iowa, Kansas, and Kentucky. The effort to end autism insurance discrimination nationwide has gained new momentum with these recent victories, combined with President Obama’s enactment this week of the Health Care Education and Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, which contains a provision including behavioral health treatment as part of the essential benefits package required in certain health plans.
Enactment of the three state bills – which first must be signed into law by their respective governors – would bring the total number of states that require health insurance companies to provide coverage for comprehensive autism treatment to eighteen. The Kentucky bill would require all state regulated health plans to provide coverage of autism therapies, while the Iowa and Kansas bills would require only the state health employee plan to provide coverage in a test track format before expanding to other types of health plans. At least two more states are expected to pass similar bills in the coming weeks.
The addition of Health Care Reform at the federal level extends access to behavioral health treatment to some families affected by autism and helps further chip away at the insurance industry’s policy of discrimination against those with an autism diagnosis. However, since current autism insurance legislation provides coverage for approximately 20% of the population, additional work remains to be done. Autism Speaks pledges to continue to advocate for autism insurance reform for all those affected by autism spectrum disorder both in Congress and in state legislatures across the country.
“Passage of these new bills in Iowa, Kansas, and Kentucky, along with the final enactment of a federal health care reform measure, add significant victories to the national effort to secure autism insurance coverage in all fifty states and provide families with the help they so desperately need,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks Executive Vice President for Programs and Services. “We must continue to fight until every individual has access to medically necessary autism therapies and families are no longer forced to mortgage their futures, or even worse, forego treatment altogether.”
Most states do not require private insurance companies to cover even essential autism treatments and services. In the absence of coverage, families often pay as much as they can out-of-pocket for services that can cost upwards of $50,000 per year. In the process, many risk their homes and the educations of their unaffected children.
Fifteen states – Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin — have enacted autism insurance reform legislation. More than twenty other state legislatures may vote on similar legislation this year.
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 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.