[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Washington St. Employees Agree to $3.5 Million ABA Settlement
July 10, 2013
SEATTLE (July 9, 2013) — Washington State employees whose insurance claims for applied behavior analysis (ABA) for their children with autism were wrongfully denied may soon be eligible for $3.5 million in reimbursement.
In a class action suit brought on behalf of all Washington state workers, the plaintiffs and the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) have announced they have agreed to a preliminary settlement creating a special fund to reimburse families for their out-of-pocket ABA expenses.
King County Superior Court Judge Susan Craighead has scheduled a Sept. 5 hearing to finalize the settlement. A $3.5 million common fund would be created for current and former state workers enrolled in the Uniform Medical Plan to seek reimbursement for their out-of-pocket expenses for ABA from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2012.
Craighead ruled last year that HCA had wrongfully denied ABA benefits under the state’s 2006 mental health parity law.
“This settlement will enable hundreds of Washington families to obtain reimbursement for the ABA therapy that they provided for their children, since the Washington Mental Health Parity Act took effect,” said Arzu Forough [left], parent of two named plaintiffs and chief executive officer of the Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy.
“Many families went into debt, liquidated their pensions, or gave up paying for other important basic needs, just to ensure that their children with autism received this essential therapy,” she said. “We hope that this fund will be an example for other insurers as to the right way to redress improper insurance company exclusions of ABA therapy.”
Craighead originally ruled for the families in July 2012, resulting in a partial settlement requiring coverage of medically necessary ABA therapy to treat autism.
“I am pleased that the Health Care Authority was able to respond positively and make this important ABA benefit available to 200,000 Uniform Medical Plan members as well as 1.2 million Medicaid clients,” said HCA Director Dorothy Teeter. “Thousands of Washington families dealing with autism will benefit from these changes.”
The Medicaid settlement is being handled separately by another court. The HCA class action is one of seven pending class action lawsuits over Washington insurers’ limitations or exclusions of autism treatment, including lawsuits against Premera Blue Cross, Regence Blue Shield, and Group Health Cooperative.
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.