[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Virginia Becomes the 26th State To Enact Autism Insurance Reform Legislation
Autism Speaks Joins with the Virginia Autism Community in Celebrating the Passage of House Bill 2467 and Senate Bill 1062 into Law
NEW YORK, NY (May 6, 2011) – Autism Speaks joins the Virginia Autism Project and Virginia families in applauding Governor Robert McDonnell for signing House Bill 2467 and Senate Bill 1062 into law today.
This legislation requires state-regulated health plans to provide coverage of autism diagnosis and treatment for children between the ages of two to six. Stakeholders and Virginia legislators have been working to pass autism insurance reform legislation in the Commonwealth for more than a decade.
HB 2467 was sponsored in the House by Delegates Tag Greason (District 32) and Tim Hugo (District 40). SB 1062 was sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Janet Howell (District 32).
“HB 2467 and SB 1062 are the culmination of over 11 years of legislative work, and countless hours of effort put forth by the parents and advocates in support of Autism,“ said Delegate Tag Greason. “This legislation delicately balances the needs of our families with the struggles that employers throughout the Commonwealth are faced with. It is the right thing to do and I am proud to be a small part of the process.”
Senator Janet Howell, who has a grand-nephew diagnosed with autism, stated “Finally, finally, after a decade of effort by advocates, insurance companies will be required to provide applied behavioral analysis treatment for young children with autism. It has been an incredible struggle to achieve this victory. I am so proud of the many families and Autism Speaks for their persistence and dedication in getting help for young children. I am honored to have played a part in the struggle.”
“Thanks to the efforts of Autism Speaks and the many families across our state, we are on the verge of providing many autistic children with services that they have long needed. With this bill, we begin to lift the darkness that is autism.” said Delegate Tim Hugo.
The passage of Virginia’s legislation is a milestone, as over half of the states have now enacted legislation to address autism insurance discrimination, requiring private health insurance to cover essential autism treatments and services, including applied behavior analysis. 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 – essentially mortgaging their entire futures.
“Autism Speaks applauds Governor McDonnell for listening to Virginia’s families and signing SB 1062 and HB 2467 into law. This legislation will extend a helping hand to families that have been financially devastated by the lack of insurance coverage for necessary autism therapies,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services. “In addition, we are grateful for the remarkable commitment and leadership of Senator Howell, Senate Majority Leader Saslaw, Delegate Greason, Delegate Hugo, and Speaker Howell on this issue.”
“We are grateful to our patrons in the House and Senate for leading us down the path to passage by the legislature and we thank Governor McDonnell for signing the bill into law” said Virginia Advocacy Chair Teresa Champion.
In addition to Virginia, twenty-five states – Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin – have enacted autism insurance reform legislation. Several other state legislatures are considering similar legislation during the 2011 session.
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.