[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
4 Senators Press HHS on Autism Coverage
October 19, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC (October 19, 2012) — In a strongly worded letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, four U.S. Senators said the federal government is not doing enough to require the states to include behavioral health treatments, such as ABA, as part of national health care reform.
Authored by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Barbara Boxer (CA), Al Franken (MN), and Sherrod Brown (OH), all Democrats, the letter urged HHS to require all health care plans to cover autism treatment by 2014. HHS last December released guidelines that could allow the states to decide whether or not to include autism care in statewide health plans. The guidance was issued as states designate benchmark health plans covering 10 essential health benefits as required under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
In their letter, the Senators said, “Rather than setting a uniformly high national standard, the [HHS] guidance allows states to select benchmark plans that neglect or skimp on autism care… If the guidance is not changed, children and adults with autism will not be better off when Affordable Insurance Exchanges launch in 2014 than they are today…
” Congress recognized autism as a top national health priority,” the Senators wrote. “We intended not to preserve the status quo, but to reduce the burdens faced by families across the nation. In finalizing the guidance for the essential health benefits, we urge you to clarify behavioral health treatment as including ABA for individuals on the autism spectrum.”
Currently, 32 states have enacted autism insurance reform requiring some level of coverage for ABA. But those states, as they implement federal health care reform, can choose benchmark plans that provide only a portion of ABA coverage. The HHS guidelines would require the 18 states that lack autism insurance laws and the three states that enacted autism insurance laws in 2012 to defray the cost of any ABA coverage.
The Senators called for a uniform federal standard, regardless of one’s health insurance plan or state insurance law, to ensure that all families ave access to affordable treatment.
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.