[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Oregon To Order Sweeping ABA Coverage
August 14, 2014
SALEM, OR (August 14, 2014) — Acting in response to a string of successful lawsuits against the insurance industry, an Oregon state agency announced today that it would prepare a directive requiring all private health insurers to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) for autism.
“Recent court decisions have brought clarity that coverage for ABA therapy should be required of all insurers,” said Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali. “After evaluating the latest ruling made in Oregon last week, we have determined there are limited circumstances in which denial of coverage for ABA therapy as a treatment for autism may be reasonable. We hope the bulletin will provide more certainty to Oregon families who seek this treatment.”
Cali was referring to last week’s decision by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon striking down the use of a “developmental disability exclusion” by insurers to deny claims for ABA treatment for autism. The ruling came in a class action lawsuit brought by two families against Providence Health Plans.
Simon found that the disabilities exclusion violated federal and state mental health parity law.
In a previous case, McHenry v PacificSource Health Plans, the court struck down the insurer’s claims that ABA was “experimental” and “educational,” rather than medical, in nature. The health plan administered by the Oregon Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) is currently being sued for its refusal to cover ABA, while in neighboring Washington state a series of decisions in class action suits have run against insurers.
Last year, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed legislation requiring state-regulated health plans to cover ABA, but the requirement would not take effect until 2016.
The Oregon Insurance Division, which is part of the state Department of Consumer and Business Services, has the authority to issue bulletins to clarify requirements of insurance companies under the Oregon Insurance Code and other state and federal laws.
“This bulletin will explain that insurers cannot exclude coverage of ABA therapy for autism from their policies,” the Insurance Division announced in a statement. “As with other types of medical services, insurers can make coverage decisions based on whether the therapy is deemed appropriate and medically necessary for an individual patient, but they cannot broadly deny payment for ABA therapy.”
The state will begin drafting the bulletin “immediately” and share the draft with consumers, advocates, insurers, and other interested parties, for comment and feedback. The division also promised to develop a “transparent and consistent approach” for resolving current and future consumer complaints and enforcing the bulletin.
The Insurance Division has drawn fire in the media for purportedly maintaining a cozy relationship with the state’s insurance industry. As reported by The Oregonian, a draft memo analyzing the 2013 autism insurance reform bill was shared with a lobbyist for Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield while the bill was still before the Legislature.
Cali took over as director shortly after the episode and told The Oregonian she was making improved autism insurance coverage a priority for the Insurance Division.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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.