[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Hails California Legislature for Final Passage of Autism Insurance Bill, Urges Gov. Brown to Sign SB 946 into Law
Assembly, Senate Votes on Final Day of Legislative Session Offer Families Hope for Reform
NEW YORK, NY (September 9, 2011) – Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization, today applauded the California Legislature for approving an amended autism insurance reform bill, SB 946, on the final day of the legislative session and urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign it into law.
“Today’s votes by the Assembly and Senate give California families caring for children with autism a ray of hope that they will receive the insurance coverage they deserve for proven behavioral health treatments,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks, executive vice president for programs and services. “California is now ready to join the 27 other states, including Nevada and Arizona, that have already enacted reform.”
Under the bill, as of July 1, 2012, health plans and insurers must cover behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA) and other behavior intervention programs. SB 946 explicitly preserves the obligation of health plans and insurers to provide services under California’s existing mental health parity law, through which many families have been able to secure coverage for other treatments such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and treatment of comorbid physical health issues.
Governor Brown has until October 9 to sign the bill into law, which is scheduled to sunset in 2014 if not renewed. Autism Speaks credited Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker John Perez and Assemblymember Jim Beall, Jr. for leading the fight for insurance reform during the waning days of the legislative session.
Thousands of California families, in the absence of insurance coverage, have been forced to pay out-of-pocket or rely on taxpayer-funded programs for behavioral health treatments, which can cost $50,000 a year or more. Autism Speaks has helped lead the fight in statehouses across the nation to end such insurance company discrimination, resulting in the enactment of laws in 27 states. This year alone, laws have been enacted in Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia and Rhode Island, and a bill passed this summer by the New York Legislature awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature.
The use of early intervention treatments, such as ABA, can substantially increase a child’s independence, thereby reducing future taxpayer costs for special education and social services. In states that have enacted autism insurance reform, actual experience has demonstrated the impact on premiums has been far below the inflated estimates floated by the insurance industry.
The bill passed today first by the Assembly then by the Senate was designed to correct a flaw in insurance settlements negotiated over the summer between the state Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) and two major insurers. The settlements initially appeared to provide the needed coverage, but contained a flaw that substantially negated their intended impact.
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.