[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Minnesota On Track to Enact Autism Insurance Reform
May 18, 2013
ST. PAUL (May 18, 2013) — The Minnesota Legislature has sent Governor Mark Dayton a bill that would make Minnesota the 33rd state, and the first in 2013, to enact autism insurance reform. The reforms are included in an omnibus health care bill approved late Friday night 73-61 by the House of Representatives and today 39-28 by the Senate.
Governor Dayton is expected to sign the bill which would take effect in January 2014.
Sponsored by Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester), the measure applies to state-regulated large group health plans which would be required to cover speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapy, including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), up to age 18. An estimated 750,000 state residents would gain coverage. State employees will be added no later than 2016.
The Dayton administration hopes to also extend coverage to the small group and individual markets through the health exchanges it creates under the Affordable Care Act.
The bill also includes co-pay relief for families covered under the TEFRA disabilities program and a $12 million early intervention program for children up to age 18 who are enrolled in the state’s Medical Assistance (MA) program. The early intervention program will provide access to behavioral therapy, such as ABA, and will include training for providers in culturally appropriate techniques.
The provisions in Norton’s bill were incorporated into HF.1233, the Omnibus Health and Human Services Finance Bill, which was passed by the legislature. The legislation became more urgent after a landmark 2001 court settlement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota expired in late 2011, stripping families of the state’s only coverage starting last year.
“Autism Speaks commends the hard work of Representative Norton and the Dayton administration in producing a comprehensive response to the lack of autism coverage in Minnesota,” said Lorri Unumb, Esq., Autism Speaks’ vice president of state government affairs. “We look forward to continuing our work with our Minnesota champions to extend coverage to all families.”
In addition to Minnesota, legislatures in North Carolina, Oregon and Nebraska are considering autism insurance reform bills. Similar measures advanced earlier this year in Hawaii, Utah, Georgia and Tennessee and are expected to be considered again in 2014.
States with existing autism insurance reform laws are expanding benefits. New Mexico has enacted a new law extending benefits under its existing law to public employees. Texas is nearing a final vote to eliminate the age cap on its law and California is moving a measure to extend its 2011 law, set to expire next year, another five years to 2019.
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.