Autism Speaks | Autism Insurance Bill Clears Utah Senate, Moves To House | Feb. 28, 2014


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

Autism Insurance Bill Clears Utah Senate, Moves To House

February 28, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY  (February 28, 2014)  — The Utah Senate has approved SB.57, the furthest an autism insurance reform bill has progressed in the state Legislature since efforts began in 2009. Utah has the highest prevalence of autism in the nation at 1 in 47, yet is one of of only 16 states not to require private insurers to cover medically necessary treatments.

The vote was 18-7.

“Autism Speaks commends Senator Brian Shiozawa [left] for his leadership in steering this urgently needed legislation through the Utah Senate,” said Mike Wasmer, Autism Speaks’ associate director of state government affairs. “We join with the Utah Autism Coalition and the state’s autism community in urging the House to now do what’s right and pass this bill.”

Shiozawa’s bill would require state-regulated health plans to cover speech, occupational and physical therapy, psychological and psychiatric care, and behavioral health treatments, including applied behavior analysis (ABA). Behavioral health treatment benefits would be capped annually at $36,000 through age 9 and $18,000 from ages 9 through 18.

During debate on the bill Thursday, Shiozawa said autism is “in epidemic proportions, the insurance companies themselves say that autism is in epidemic proportions in the state of Utah. They acknowledge that this is a real condition, they also acknowledge that there is a best therapy for this.

“We’re asking that they simply cover this condition,” Shiozawa said. By supporting the bill, Shiozawa told his colleagues, “You give the children and their families, the thousands of children in the state of Utah a voice, a voice to be heard by the insurance companies, a voice that says to them we faithfully pay our premiums, please cover our condition.”

Shiozawa said he had attempted to craft a workable bill by working with two major Utah insurers.

“I have gone to their offices, I have sat down with them, I have offered that we will do whatever we need to do to negotiate on this, on dates of services, on the ages, on the caps,” he said. “Make this your bill, this is your opportunity. And their response is, no, we’re going to fight this and we’re not going to pay for this.”

Senator Scott Jenkins of Plain City spoke against the bill, calling it a form of socializing costs. “This is making it a mandate for the insurance companies to cover their insured,” he complained.

However, Senator Todd Weiler from Woods Cross said the autism debate had changed his views on insurance after a constituent explained how his son with autism was initially denied coverage for a broken arm.  

“The insurance company denied the bill using as an excuse the child had been diagnosed with autism and that the broken arm most likely was caused because the child was autistic,” Weiler said. “That is discrimination. And if that’s how insurance companies are going to treat children in my district, that’s going to change my opinion about insurance mandates.”

Senator Deidre Henderson of Spanish Fork said the insurance lobby had indicated that the billing was later resolved after an investigation determined the original denial was the result of a “miscode.” She voted against the legislation.

Senator Karen Mayne, a retired para-educator from West Valley City, said when she began her career, no more than one or two children in the school had autism. “When I left we had just about one in every class…This is an epidemic, this is divorce city, this is crisis city and there is only so much energy in a family and it does more than harm the child, it harms the family, it harms society.” 

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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