[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Unicameral Update Reports on 2012 Nebraska Reform Bill
February 09, 2012
LINCOLN (Feb. 9, 2012) — Unicameral Update, the Nebraska Legislature news service, reported on the Feb. 7 Banking, Insurance and Commerce Committee hearing on LB.1129.
“Health insurance policies issued in Nebraska would be required to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals up to 21 years of age under a bill heard Feb. 7 by the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.” Read more below.
Bill would require insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders
Published February 9, 2012
Health insurance policies issued in Nebraska would be required to cover the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals up to 21 years of age under a bill heard Feb. 7 by the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.
As introduced, LB1129 would require coverage for behavioral health treatment, including applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and other evidence-based care up to a maximum benefit of $70,000 per year for individuals 9 years of age or younger and $20,000 per year for those 10 to 21 years of age.
Lincoln Sen. Colby Coash, sponsor of the bill, recommended that LB1129 be amended to require $70,000 of coverage for the first three years of treatment and $20,000 for each subsequent year until age 21. He said the change would allow children diagnosed with ASD to access intensive therapies for the first three years of treatment, regardless of the age of diagnosis, which he said is essential to an individual’s long-term outcome.
“This is not new,” Coash said. “We would not be the first state to say that this kind of coverage makes sense for its citizens.”
The bill defines ASD as any of the pervasive developmental disorders as defined by the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), including autistic disorder and Asperger’s disorder.
Michael Wasmer of Autism Speaks testified in support of the bill, saying 29 states have passed similar legislation.
Wasmer said premium rate increases have been minimal in the other states that have implemented autism insurance reform. He said an actuarial study using Nebraska demographics estimates a $1.21 per member, per month increase if LB1129 becomes law.
“[This bill] is cost effective and the right thing to do for Nebraskans,” he said.
Cynthia Ellis, a pediatrician at the Munroe-Meyer Institute in Omaha, also supported the bill. She said approximately one in 110 children is diagnosed with ASD. Well established behavioral treatments exist, she said, but rarely are covered by private insurance or Medicaid.
“Autism is fairly common,” Ellis said. “Autism is treatable.”
Cathy Clark-Martinez, whose son has autism, testified in support of the bill, saying her family filed for bankruptcy after paying $62,000 per year for behavioral therapy that insurance would not cover. She said her 8-year-old son missed a valuable year of therapy while the family weighed their options.
“Finances were the only reason we didn’t [initially] do ABA,” Clark-Martinez said.
Jan McKenzie of the Nebraska Insurance Federation testified in opposition, saying insurance providers do not define ABA therapy as a medically necessary treatment for autism spectrum disorders.
The committee took no immediate action on the bill.
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.