[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Insurers Get Pressure to Cover ABA for Federal Employees
May 06, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC (May 6, 2013) — The agency in charge of managing health benefits for the nation’s 8.2 million federal employees, retirees and dependents is urging its participating health plans to start covering ABA in 2014 or explain why they are refusing coverage.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last year recommended for the first time that health plans participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program include coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA). But of the 230 participating plans around the nation, only 67 offered the benefit for 2013 and many areas with large concentrations of federal employees, such as the National Capital Region, lacked coverage.
The coverage is significant as federal employees represent the largest single workforce in the United States. In March, a bipartisan coalition of 11 Members of Congress from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia urged OPM to demand better coverage from FEHB’s participating health plans.
As the health plans now start developing their 2014 coverage, OPM has issued guidance that “encourage[s] plans to offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children with autism,” and requires them to complete an online survey. The survey asks insurers that cover ABA in one of the 32 states that has enacted autism insurance reform whether they cover ABA for FEHB members and, if they do not, in what year they plan to do so.
For insurers that operate in Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, or South Carolina, states that require ABA coverage, have significant numbers of ABA providers, and large populations of federal workers, the survey goes a step further – it asks plans that do not offer ABA to explain their decision.
“We are encouraged by this action by OPM and will continue working with our champions in Congress to make sure this coverage is the best possible,” said Stuart Spielman, Autism Speaks’ senior policy advisor and counsel. “Our goal is to provide autism insurance coverage for every family regardless of their health plan or where they live. Strengthening coverage for the nation’s largest workforce is an important part of that effort. FEHB plans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia should provide the comprehensive care that children with autism need. OPM must leave no families behind.”
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.