[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks Applauds Missouri Governor Nixon for Enacting Autism Insurance Reform Bill
Missouri Becomes the 21st State to End Autism Insurance Discrimination
NEW YORK, NY (June 11, 2010) — Autism Speaks joined Missouri families, the Missouri Autism Coalition, and other autism organizations yesterday in applauding Governor Jay Nixon for signing into law House Bill 1311, which requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies, including behavioral health treatment such as applied behavior analysis. Governor Nixon signed the bill into law yesterday in Jefferson City, beginning a multi-city signing tour scheduled for several cities around the state.
The final version of HB 1311 includes coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA) for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) up to $40,000 per year, or more if medically necessary, through age 18. Insurance coverage for non-ABA therapies is not subject to age limits or monetary caps. Insurers cannot impose visit limits on any coverage under the new law, other than the dollar cap on ABA.
“This is a great day for the thousands of Missouri families that had been financially devastated by the lack of insurance coverage for necessary autism therapies,” said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks executive vice president of programs and services. “Legislatures across the country are introducing and passing bills that put an end to the discriminatory practices by insurance companies against children with an autism diagnosis. We thank Missouri’s legislators and Governor Nixon for having the courage to put families and their needs first.”
HB 1311 was sponsored in the House by Representative Dwight Scharnhorst and combined with a bill (HB 1341) that was sponsored by Representative Jason Grill. A companion bill, SB 618, was originally introduced in the Senate and sponsored by Senator Scott Rupp.
In many states, insurers explicitly exclude coverage of these therapies from policies, which places a significant financial burden on families seeking to provide their children with necessary treatments. In addition to Missouri, twenty other states – Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin – have passed similar autism insurance reform bills. A bill in New Hampshire has been passed by the legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature.
“This new law will make Missouri a national leader in the diagnosis and treatment of autism, and it will lift a tremendous burden from thousands of families across our state,” said Governor Nixon. “With the bill I’m signing today, parents of children with autism – who have faithfully paid their insurance premiums – will finally get the coverage they are entitled to. The law will ensure that ABA therapy is covered and that families will not get kicked off their insurance plans or otherwise limited in their insurance options because they have a child with autism.”
The local autism community, including parents, grandparents, advocates, and local organizations, was instrumental in getting HB 1311 passed into law. Throughout the process they met with legislators frequently, reached out to them via phone and email, and attended hearings at the state capitol.
“I am thrilled with the enactment of HB 1311 and the commencement of coverage of the diagnosis and treatment of autism in Missouri,” said Bill Bolster, father of a child with autism and Autism Speaks Missouri Chapter Advocacy Chair. “More importantly, the work that led to passage of HB 1311 over three years brought the autism community in Missouri together in a way that will last and grow in the future for the benefit of people and families touched by autism in Missouri.”
1 – Governor Nixon signs the autism insurance reform bill into law
2 – Advocates gather at the signing ceremony at the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City
3 – Lorri Unumb, senior policy advisor and counsel for Autism Speaks, speaks at the the signing ceremony
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.