[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Make it 31, Alaska Insurance Bill to Become Law
NEW YORK — Alaska will become the 31st state to enact autism insurance reform on June 27 when SB. 74, sponsored by Senator Johnny Ellis and approved by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority from both houses of the Alaska Legislature, officially becomes law. Governor Sean Parnell chose to return the bill to the Legislature today without his signature, which under Alaska law will result in enactment. A 20-day period for the Governor to sign expires June 27.
The new law requires private health insurance plans to cover the diagnosis, testing and treatment of autism spectrum disorders for children and young adults up to the age of 21 with no financial cap on benefits.
SB 74 includes coverage of behavioral health treatments, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), an evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapy, for individuals with autism. The law takes effect starting Jan. 1, 2013 as each state-regulated health plan is renewed or offered.
”We thank Senator Ellis Ellis, along with Representatives Dan Sadler and Pete Petersen and the many other legislators from both sides of the aisle in the Alaska legislature, for their leadership on this issue of critical concern to thousands of Alaskas families,” said Lorri Unumb, Esq, Autism Speaks vice president for state government affairs. ”With autism now affecting 1 in every 88 American children, including 1 of every 54 boys, Alaskas legislative leaders recognized that doing nothing in the face of an epidemic was no longer an option.”
A number of states have yet to 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 essentially mortgaging their entire futures.
The Anchorage Daily News, Unumb noted, said it best in an April 11 editorial:
There’s a reason that lopsided majorities of both the House and Senate not only support this bill but signed on as co-sponsors. It’s a simple opportunity for legislators to do much good at little cost. That bipartisan support reflects an Alaska trait we’ve seen over and over through the years: Give Alaskans a specific good thing to do to help their neighbors, and they’ll respond in spades.
The new law requires a small business exemption for employers in the group market with 20 or fewer employees. Employers with 21 to 25 employees will be able to claim an exemption if they can show the coverage has increased premiums by three percent or more based on actual claims experience over any 12-month period.
The law also creates a nine-member Comprehensive Autism Early Diagnosis and Treatment Task Force charged with tracking the impact of the new law and issuing recommendations for the development of a statewide comprehensive plan to support the early diagnosis and treatment of autism. The task force membership will include one insurance industry representative, one mental health provider and one parent or guardian of a child with autism.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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.