Autism Speaks | Hawaii 42nd state to pass autism insurance reform  | July 16, 2015 #AutisticHistory


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

Hawaii 42nd state to pass autism insurance reform

July 16, 2015

HONOLULU, HI- Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed a landmark autism insurance reform bill, making Hawaii the 42nd state to require certain health insurance plans to cover treatment for autism spectrum disorders. 

SB 791, sponsored by Senator Josh Green (D-Kohala/Kona), requires state-regulated insurance plans to cover medically necessary treatment for autism including behavioral health treatment, psychiatric, psychological, pharmaceutical and therapeutic care. The legislation also requires plans to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) with a maximum of $25,000 per year through 13 years of age.  

“With passage of Act 235, children with autism now have a better chance at receiving the services and treatment to help them thrive and lead healthier lives here in Hawaii. This bill represents the work of many advocates, and Hawaii proudly joins other states that recognize the importance of providing access to health care services for those living with autism,” said State Representative Della Au Belatti.

“Luke’s Law will have a more positive and direct impact on people’s lives in Hawaii than any other bill that we passed this year. The thousands of people in Hawaii with autism have better lives, and their families and friends will get to watch them thrive,” said State Senator Josh Green, M.D.

Earlier this month, Governor Ige enacted SB 40, which requires licensure of behavior analysts and funds the implementation of a Behavior Analyst board. Applied behavior analysis  (ABA) is the leading treatment to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior for individuals with autism.

“This has truly been a banner year for families with autism in Hawaii,” said Lorri Unumb, Vice President, State Government Affairs for the national group Autism Speaks. “We are eternally grateful for the leadership of Senator Green, Representative Belatti, Senator Roz Baker, and for the many hours put in by autism moms and dads and siblings throughout Hawaii. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the therapists who work with our children day-in and day-out; they really rolled up their sleeves and helped get this bill across the finish line.”

The insurance bill is named for Luke Pinnow, a teenage boy with autism who has been the face of the effort in recent years. Luke testified in support of the bill multiple times and met with dozens of legislators to share how autism affects his life. His mom, Geri, also testified about the different path Luke might now be on if treatment had been available to Luke through health insurance when he was younger.

After the bill signing, Luke said, “I worked really hard on this law, thank you for signing it (Governor) David Y. Ige, now kids with Autism can get help!”

Families impacted by autism in Hawaii also recently celebrated the enactment of, HB 119, ABLE Savings programs to allow families the opportunity to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. 

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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