[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Coash Bill Gets Warm Reception Before Senate Panel
February 27, 2013
LINCOLN (February 27, 2013) — The Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee took testimony yesterday on LB.505, the new autism insurance reform bill, and heard nearly a dozen advocates call for Nebraska join the 32 other states that have enacted such laws. No opposition to the bill, sponsored by Sen. Colby Coash (D-Lincoln), was voiced during the hearing.
LB.505 would require up to $70,000 a year in coverage for behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, for the first three years of treatment. The limit would be $20,000 annually thereafter until the age of 21.
The committee’s next step will be to vote whether to release the bill.
Bill would require insurers to pay for autism treatment
By KEVIN O’HANLON / Lincoln Journal Star
Feb 26, 2013
Cathy and Cesar Martinez noticed an abrupt change in their 20-month-old son, Jacob, in 2005.
Within months, he lost all language skills. He would no longer make eye contact with others or respond when his name was called.
He stopped playing.
He spent most of his time sitting in the corner, banging his head against the wall.
When Jacob was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism, his parents immediately began private speech and occupational therapy for Jacob.
“We saw minimal progress, if any, at all, that first year,” Cathy Martinez said.
They sought out a local pediatric behavioral psychologist specializing in autism spectrum disorders, who recommended a treatment called Applied Behavioral Analysis, which is based on theories that behaviors can be taught through a system of rewards and consequences.
It would cost $62,000 a year.
“She warned us that insurance will not pay for autism treatment in the state of Nebraska,” Martinez said. “We left feeling devastated, that a treatment existed that could help our child, but our insurance refuses to cover it.”
On Tuesday, the Legislature’s Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee discussed a bill (LB505) that would require insurance companies to pay for autism diagnoses and treatment.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Colby Coash of Lincoln, said Nebraska is one of 18 states that do not require insurers to do so.
“Science has clearly proven that autism is a neurological disorder that can respond extremely well to treatment, especially early intervention therapy,” Coash said. “The time for coverage is long overdue.”
Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.
The increasing number of people diagnosed with autism makes it the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States. No one knows what causes autism. Research indicates autism is triggered by “environmental factors” and possible genetics, but exactly what those factors are remains unknown.
There is no cure for autism, although medical professionals agree the earlier the disorder is diagnosed, the better the results. Early intervention and behavior therapies can help children overcome some aspects of the disorder.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in 88 children have autism spectrum disorder.
Coash said Nebraska families with autistic children are “either left without coverage, left bankrupt seeking treatment or even leave our state to find treatment elsewhere.
“Thirty-two other states require coverage, including our neighbors Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado,” he said. “Now is the time to ensure our Nebraska families obtain effective treatment for autism, and this bill is the vehicle.”
Coash’s bill would require up to $70,000 a year in coverage for behavioral health treatment, such as Applied Behavioral Analysis, for the first three years of treatment. The limit would be $20,000 annually thereafter until the age of 21.
As for the Martinez family, they spent some $250,000 on Jake’s ABA program from 2006 through 2011, and eventually had to file bankruptcy.
“The benefits to our child and family far outweigh the monetary cost and the embarrassment of filing bankruptcy,” Cathy Martinez said. “Our son, who once sat in a corner slamming his head against the wall, now can independently toilet, write his name, eat with utensils, play games with other children, dress himself, add and subtract, brush his teeth, get a haircut and type sentences and reports at school. Jake can look me in the eye again and responds when we call his name.
“It’s time to put Nebraska’s children before big business,” she said. “It’s time to do the right thing for Nebraska.”
The bill was opposed by the Nebraska Insurance Federation and the city of Omaha, among others.
Ron Sedlacek, representing the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed concerns about the affordability of such “mandated benefits.”
“Who’s going to pay for it?” he said.
He also said it was not clear how such a plan would play out under the new federal health care law.
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.