Mississippi | Autism insurance bill passes House, 120-0 | Feb. 11, 2014


[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Autism insurance bill passes House, 120-0
Written by Emily Le Coz
Feb. 11, 2014 8:18 PM | clarionledger.com

Legislation mandating insurance coverage for autism therapies passed the full House floor in a 120-0 vote on Tuesday, an unprecedented step for a state that has previously rejected such bills despite the skyrocketing rate of autism.

“I think everybody over here understands it’s a good bill,” said its author, state Rep. Steve Massengill, R- Hickory Flat. “We’ll see what happens to it over there” in the Senate.
The bill now heads to the Senate, where Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves will refer it to one or more committees that will have until March 4 to pass it.

If it makes it through committee, it would then head to the full Senate floor for a vote no later than March 12.

Reeves said the “Senate will consider the policy and review the financial implications of House Bill 542 once it is received from the House.”

House Bill 542 requires the State and Schools Employee Health Insurance Plan to cover diagnosis and treatment of autism, a disorder that impairs communication and socialization and also results in repetitive behaviors and restricted interests.

The bill was amended prior to passage with the addition of one statement. It restricts coverage to “generally accepted medical treatments” and those which have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“As long as everybody understands that it doesn’t have to be approved by the FDA and (also) be generally accepted, that it’s either-or, that’s fine,” said Lorri Unumb, vice president of state government affairs for Autism Speaks.

The national autism advocacy organization supports the Mississippi bill.

“We don’t want insurance companies to be forced to cover things that aren’t generally accepted standards of care,” Unumb said. “We want to be treated like every other condition so that the things that are standard process are covered but not special treatment such as swimming with dolphins.”

This is now the longest-surviving legislation of its kind in the eight consecutive years lawmakers have introduced autism insurance bills.

The rate of autism has skyrocketed 381 percent in Mississippi in the past nine years, according to data from the state Department of Education.

One in 88 children now has the disorder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. That’s 10,175 youths under the age of 21 in Mississippi alone.
Yet most families in the state struggling with autism — which impairs communication and socialization — lack health insurance coverage for many of the therapies shown to reduce its severity.

“I’m unbelievably relieved and excited at how much this will help so many families in Mississippi,” said Ripley resident Quess Hood, whose 6-year-old son has autism. “I hope the lieutenant governor will take this up.”
Hood is a state employee.

Some families have complained the bill should apply to all health insurance providers, not just the state plan. But supporters say it’s an important first step and that the legislation can be expanded next year.

The State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan covers roughly 185,000 participants, about one- fourth of whom are dependents, according to information from the state Department of Finance and Administration.

That’s a fraction of the nearly 2.3 million state residents covered by other health plans.
More than 30 states already have laws requiring health insurers to cover autism therapies. It has raised premiums there an average of 31 cents per policy holder, according to an independent study conducted by Autism Speaks.

The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism 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 workIn 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.

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