[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Oregon Governor, Advocates Celebrate Autism Insurance Reform
August 27, 2013
SALEM (Aug. 27, 2013) — Governor John Kitzhaber conducted a bill-signing ceremony in his office today with the Oregon autism community to celebrate the enactment of legislation that made Oregon the 34th state to enact autism insurance reform.
Sponsored by Sen. Alan Bates of Medford, the new law (SB.365) was approved unanimously by the Legislature and then officially signed August 14 by Kitzhaber. The enactment was celebrated publicly today with the bill-signing ceremony in the Governor’s office. (Left: Autism Speaks Director of State Government Affairs Judith Ursitti looks on as Kitzhaber signs the bill.)
“Over the 2013 Legislative session, I was moved to hear from individuals and families about how autism affects our fellow Oregonians,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “I was proud to join supporters of Senate Bill 365 at the ceremonial signing and I believe this bill is an important first step for our state.”
The law, which requires coverage of applied behavior analysis (ABA), will take effect in 2015 for public employees and 2016 for state-regulated health plans. Oregon joins Minnesota and the District of Columbia which also enacted autism insurance reform this year; similar efforts are underway in Maryland and Ohio.
The new law establishes requirements for state-regulated health plans to approve and manage autism treatment, including ABA and any other medical or mental health services identified in an individualized treatment plan. To qualify, kids must begin treatment before age 9; up to 25 hours of ABA per week will be covered and continue for as long as medically necessary, regardless of age.
Existing Oregon laws require coverage of autism treatment for older patients and those seeking more than 25 hours of ABA per week.
A seven-member Behavior Analysis Regulatory Board will be created within the Oregon Health Licensing Agency to license providers.
The new law will also impact Medicaid coverage through the Oregon Health Plan. The Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC) is now reviewing ABA in order to update the state’s prioritized list of health services covered through Medicaid. HERC began the study before the bill was signed by Kitzhaber.
Kitzhaber in July signed a related measure, SB.414, sponsored by Senator Chip Shields of Portland, which strengthens the enforcement powers of the state Insurance Division. The agency is now able to order health plans to pay restitution to consumers if they violate the law or their contracts. State regulators previously had very limited enforcement powers over the insurance industry which has an exemption under Oregon’s anti-fraud laws.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
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.