[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Medicaid Coverage for ABA By States Accelerates
September 15, 2014
NEW YORK (September 15, 2014) — In response to a July directive from the federal government to step up Medicaid-funded treatment for autism, a number of states are quickly moving forward to add benefits for behavioral health treatment. One state–Hawai’i–has been hit with a class action suit for failing to provide the coverage.
The Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center (ASLRC) has been working with advocates and state officials from around the country on implementing the July 7 directive from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said Dan Unumb, ASLRC’s executive director.
One-third of all children with autism receive primary insurance coverage through Medicaid; including secondary coverage, half of all American children with autism are impacted. Medicaid is a joint federal/state program.
“This a game-changer for the autism community,” Unumb said. “How soon this will play out in each state and kids get treatment remains to be seen, but the ball is moving down the field.”
Among the highlights since the CMS announcement was issued:
- California has moved forward with plans to require coverage of behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA), starting Monday. An estimated 12,000 children will gain coverage through Medi-Cal, including 6,000 who currently have no coverage for treatment.
- Nevada is hosting a public workshop today to start implementing behavioral health treatment coverage through its Medicaid program. Based on the public input and further review, the state will submit a Medicaid plan change to CMS for approval.
- Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has directed his administration to develop a “full range” of autism treatments, including ABA, to be covered through the state’s Medicaid program. Further details are to be provided in October at a meeting of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Council.
- A federal class action suit has been filed against Hawaii for denying ABA benefits through its Medicaid program for autism treatment. The complaint, Egan v McManaman, estimates that 1,500 to 1,900 children under the age of 21 would be affected.
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.