[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Medi-Cal Funding For ABA Fails, But New Option Emerges
June 13, 2014
SACRAMENTO (June 13, 2014) — A $50 million appropriation sought for Medi-Cal to provide behavioral health treatment for autism failed to make the final cut in California’s state budget negotiations. But the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will be directed to incorporate the treatment in Medi-Cal, which is the state’s Medicaid program, and request the Legislature for an appropriation.
“We are disappointed that this appropriation failed, depriving hundreds of California children with autism with access to medically necessary treatment that can make an enormous improvement in their quality of life,” said Kristin Jacobson, state policy chair for Autism Speaks. “This is particularly frustrating given the acknowledgment by at least two state agencies that delaying treatment causes irreparable harm.
“However, we take heart in the Legislature’s directive to DHCS to right this wrong by building the benefit into Medi-Cal,” she added. “We commend Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (left) for his continued leadership on behalf of the California autism community.”
The issue arose in 2013 when the Healthy Families program was shuttered, resulting in the transfer of thousands of children into Medi-Cal. Children who were receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) behavioral treatment in Healthy Families lost the service when they entered Medi-Cal.
An attempt was made in the recently concluded state budget negotiations between the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown to add a $50 million Medi-Cal appropriation to restore the coverage, but it failed to make the final agreement. In its place, behavioral health treatment was determined to be a Medi-Cal benefit and DCHS, which administers the program, was directed to start the administrative process of including it.
That process will require outreach to federal Medicaid authorities as well as stakeholders. DCHS would need to seek statutory authority on how to implement the new benefit, and determine eligibility criteria, provider participation criteria, utilization controls and a delivery system structure. The department would be required to develop an appropriations request, conditioned on assurances of federal financial participation.
The Legislature directed DHCS to add the benefit when it is federally required.
“We believe ABA coverage is already required under Medicaid given successful lawsuits in other states, such as Florida, and the federal government’s recent approval of ABA benefits added by Louisiana and Washington state,” Jacobson said. “The Louisiana and Washington plans now cover behavioral health treatment as a benefit under EPSDT (Early Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment).
“EPSDT benefits may not vary from state to state, so if the benefit is valid in one state it should be required in all states,” she said.
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.