[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Hails New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for Signing One of Nation’s Strongest Autism Insurance Reform Bills into Law
Governor, Legislature Applauded for Fighting for Families, Saving Taxpayers $13 Million
NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2011) – Autism Speaks joined New York families today in applauding Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing into law one of the most comprehensive autism insurance reform measures in the nation, Assembly Bill 8512. This new law requires insurance companies to provide coverage of critical autism therapies for both children and adults, and makes New York the 29th state to enact autism insurance reform.
“We thank Governor Cuomo for taking on the fight for families struggling with autism,” said Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. “New York has now stood up to the plate as a leader, not only for its families dealing with autism, but for taxpayers throughout the state.”
Suzanne and Bob Wright, who founded Autism Speaks in 2005, were guests of Governor Cuomo at today’s bill-signing ceremony at the Governor’s Office.
Sponsored in the New York Assembly by Assemblymember Joseph Morelle (D-Monroe) and in the Senate by Sen. Charles Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Nassau,) the new law will provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA.) The new law, which constitutes a compromise agreement hammered out between the Governor and the Legislature, will take effect in 12 months – on November 1, 2012 – and allow up to $45,000 a year in ABA treatments with no limits on age or number of visits.
A fiscal analysis conducted for Autism Speaks found the new law would save New York taxpayers $13 million over six years by reducing Medicaid, early intervention, special education and other costs. The savings result from insurance-funded treatments provided to children with autism at an early age, helping them to overcome developmental disabilities and require fewer public-funded services as they grow older.
New York has been among the shrinking number of states that do not require private insurance companies to cover even essential autism treatments and services. As a result, families paying thousands of dollars a year in health insurance premiums receive no benefits in return for autism-related expenses, forcing them to 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.
“This law is a win-win for families struggling with autism and for New York’s taxpayers,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services. “This enactment allows New York to join the growing number of states that have recognized the unfair and unreasonable burden being imposed on individuals diagnosed with autism and their families, while rejecting the inflated cost claims presented by the insurance industry.”
Assemblymember Morelle said, “With this agreement, we achieve a genuine milestone for those affected by autism while at the same time recognizing the need to control new costs created by insurance mandates. For far too long, families with a child on the autism spectrum have faced financial and emotional uncertainty because proven treatments and therapies were not covered under their policies. Today, some of that uncertainty has been removed. I am deeply grateful to the governor and to my colleagues in the legislature for their partnership in this effort.”
Senator Fuschillo said, “This law will be a giant step forward towards helping families with autism get the care they need. No longer will these families be forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars each year paying for autism treatments and therapies which their insurance companies refuse to cover. Finally, they will have exactly what they deserve; access to treatment coverage just like any other condition and protection from being denied services solely because of an autism diagnosis. I am pleased that we were able to work together to make this a reality.”
Today’s bill-signing makes New York the 6th state in 2011 and the 29th overall to institute autism insurance reform. Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation making California the 28th state to enact reform and, in Michigan, insurance reform bills are making their way through the legislature with the support of Gov. Rick Snyder.
To learn more about Autism Votes, an initiative of Autism Speaks focused on federal and state legislative advocacy, please visit http://www.autismvotes.org.
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.