[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
WRAL Reports on NC Fight for Insurance Coverage
June 28, 2013
RALEIGH (June 28, 2013) — WRAL-TV reported on the fight for HB.498 which has been voted out of the House of Representatives and supported by Governor McCrory, but can’t get a hearing in the Senate. See the video below and read the online story below.
Advocates seek insurance coverage for autism treatment
Posted June 27, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. — Advocates for people with autism want access to critical treatments, but legislation that would allow it is hung up in the General Assembly.
Most insurance providers cover speech, occupational and physical therapy, but North Carolina is one of 17 states where insurance doesn’t cover applied behavior analysis, also known as ABA therapy.
The state House voted overwhelmingly last month to approve legislation that would require insurers to cover ABA therapy, but it has languished in a Senate committee since then.
Scott Taylor said he and his wife paid $1,500 out of pocket for ABA therapy for their 11-year-old son, Daniel. He credits the strides his son has made to the therapy, which involves a team of therapists reinforcing positive behaviors and trying to eliminate negative ones.
“It makes a big difference,” Taylor said. “It is time intensive, one on one, and so it’s not cheap.”
A year ago, he said, they had to halt the therapy because they could no longer afford it.
“These children cannot wait on the treatment that they need and that their doctors are prescribing,” said Lorri Unumb, vice president for government affairs for advocacy group Autism Speaks. “To have an insurance policy that purports to cover autism but doesn’t cover the single most important treatment for autism is not meaningful.”
Insurance companies say ABA therapy is an educational treatment, not a medical one, and they don’t cover educational therapy. It also would raise premiums for other policyholders, according to insurers.
“The cost is chump change to what it would cost to care for folks like Daniel when they become adults,” Taylor said.
The North Carolina Chamber also opposes the bill, calling the insurance requirement a burden for businesses.
Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, said the Senate has no plans to take up the bill.
“Until we get guidance under the Affordable Care Act, we’re kind of tied,” Apodaca said. “We hate doing it because we all love this bill and feel like it’s needed.”
Guidance about mandates under the national health care reform law is expected early next year, he said.
Unumb said she doesn’t see the federal law as an impediment, saying advocates are working to amend the bill to remove health exchanges and small businesses from the ABA therapy coverage requirement. The changes would bring the proposal into compliance with the Affordable Care Act, she said.
One in every 88 children is diagnosed with autism, according to the latest estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Taylor said ABA therapy would help children like his son live normal lives.
“We all want our child to grow up to live as independent and fulfilling a life as possible, and that’s what I want for Daniel,” he said. “This therapy is going to help him do that.”
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.