[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Order Directing Florida Medicaid to Cover ABA Upheld on Appeal
September 23, 2013
MIAMI (September 23, 2013) — A federal appeals court has upheld an order directing Florida to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) under its Medicaid program, rejecting claims the therapy is “experimental.”
The decision by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals was hailed as a victory by the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center, which intervened on behalf of the plaintiffs, three children diagnosed with autism, against the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which administers the state’s Medicaid program. The plaintiffs had sued the state in 2011, contesting its blanket denial of ABA coverage on the basis the therapy was “experimental.”
In a strongly worded opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lenard in March 2012 ordered the state to cover ABA, asking, “How many children were lost?” as a result of the state’s denials.
“This case will have national impact because, while most states mandate that private insurance companies must cover ABA, most Medicaid programs do not provide coverage,” said Miriam Harmatz of Florida Legal Services, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. The children’s treating physicians explained the extreme disparity between the prognosis of privately insured children with autism, who receive ABA, and those on Medicaid, who do not, she said.
Dan Unumb, Esq., executive director of the Autism Speaks Legal Resource center, said the abundance of high quality scientific literature presented during the 2012 trial “laid to rest the outrageous claim that ABA is experimental.” The appeals court decision underscored that Florida must cover ABA through Medicaid whenever the therapy is deemed medically necessary, he said.
The three-judge appeals panel agreed with Lenard that Florida violated the federal Medicaid Act when it excluded coverage of ABA therapy needed by the children. Lenard acted properly in ordering AHCA to remove coverage restrictions and to take steps needed to assure that Medicaid coverage of ABA therapy moves forward, the appeals court ruled.
The appeals court, however, did remand the case to Lenard to clarify that AHCA retains the authority to determine the medical necessity for ABA coverage on a case-by-case basis. The appeals court noted that AHCA in its appeal had dropped its claims that ABA was experimental, but was concerned Lenard’s order could be misinterpreted to require blanket coverage of ABA.
Lenard had found that “there exists in the scientific and medical peer-reviewed literature a plethora of meta-analyses, studies and articles that clearly establish ABA as an effective and significant treatment to prevent disability and to restore children to their best possible functional level and restore their developmental skills.”
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.