[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Autism Speaks: New Federal Health Care Rules Come Up Short on Autism
February 20, 2013
NEW YORK (February 21, 2013) — The expanded access to health care promised through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would fall short with autism under new federal regulations that fail to require every state to include coverage for behavioral health treatment as the law required, said Peter Bell, Autism Speaks’ executive vice president for programs and services. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States with an estimated 1 of every 88 children now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
Bell was responding to final rules made public yesterday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the 10 “essential health benefits” every state must include in their new ACA health insurance marketplaces that start operation next year. Even though coverage for behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA), was required by Congress, as many as 24 states continue to lack this coverage under the HHS regulations.
Among these states are Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia which require the coverage by law for state-regulated health plans, but would not require it through their new ACA health plans. A total of 32 states have passed autism insurance reform laws requiring autism-related coverage in state-regulated health plans.
“Behavioral health treatment, including ABA, was specifically written into the law by Congress as an essential health benefit, yet that requirement seems to have disappeared from the new HHS regulations,” said Bell. “On the other hand, we are encouraged that the flexible approach HHS has adopted could ultimately lead to more states including behavior treatment benefits for autism.
“The habilitative services category may offer a fallback. States that do not have an ABA benefit should step up – now – and determine that this vital coverage is part of their benchmark plan.”
For instance, Ohio, which is not one of the 32 states to enact an autism insurance reform law, will be permitted to require the coverage in its ACA health insurance marketplace under an order signed in December by Gov. John Kasich. California, New York, Michigan, Delaware and Alaska, all of which passed their state laws after the ACA was enacted, also will be permitted to include behavioral health treatment in their ACA health plans.
“Our goal continues to be autism insurance coverage in all health plans in all 50 states,” said Bell. “The HHS regulations are disappointing. Geography shouldn’t dictate whether a person with autism gets needed care.”
The final federal model plan adopted by HHS should include specific coverage for behavioral health treatment, said Bell.
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.