[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Kasich Adds Autism Benefits in Ohio EHB Plan
December 21, 2012
COLUMBUS, OH (December 21, 2012) – Ohio Governor John Kasich has included coverage for the treatment of autism in the state’s Essential Health Benefits (EHB) benchmark plan, drawing immediate praise from Autism Speaks.
Recognizing the importance of effective intervention for individuals with autism, Kasich’s decision guarantees that Ohioans with autism will have access to meaningful health insurance that includes coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) when purchased through Ohio’s federally managed exchange beginning in 2014.
“Autism Speaks commends Governor Kasich for his bold leadership and his commitment to supporting the autism community of Ohio,” said Lorri Unumb, Esq., Autism Speaks vice president of state government affairs. “Governor Kasich has listened to Ohio families impacted by autism and has responded decisively.”
After close consultation with legislative leadership and members of both chambers who recently heard testimony on bills to require private health insurance to cover ABA for autism, Kasich made the further decision to make autism benefits available to Ohio’s state employees. Ohio is one of 18 states that currently do not required state-regulated health plans to cover ABA.
Unumb said Autism Speaks will continue to press for full autism insurance reform in Ohio in 2013.
The EHB benefit would cover 20 hours of ABA weekly, 20 visits per year for speech and language therapy, 20 visits per year for occupational therapy and 30 visits per year for mental/behavioral health outpatient services performed by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician. The public employee benenfit will require negotiations with Ohio’s five public employee unions.
According to an Autism Speaks’ analysis of state EHB benchmark plans, at least 22 of the 32 states that do require private health insurance to cover ABA for autism have included this benefit in their EHB benchmark plan. Unumb called on other state governors to follow Kasich’s lead and add autism benefits to their EHB benchmark plans, even in states such as Ohio where this benefit is not currently required by law.
“Autism is a national public health crisis, and providing access to meaningful health insurance coverage for the treatment of autism is a fiscal and moral imperative,” Unumb said. “I think many of our nation’s governors understand this, but time is running short. I urge them to quickly add autism benefits to their exchange plans, whether or not they plan to operate their own exchange or select their own benchmark.”
Any state that proposes a benchmark that does not include all 10 EHB categories required under the Affordable Care Act must supplement the benchmark and may add autism benefits in the process. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a deadline of December 26, 2012 for states to provide the list of benefits they intend to include in EHB benchmark plans.
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.