[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Michigan Redirects $5.5 Million Surplus From Untapped Autism Fund
January 06, 2015
Michigan has redirected $5.5 million to its universities and a non-profit from a special fund created in 2012 to reimburse insurers for the cost of diagnosing and treating autism. The fund was created to bail out insurers who warned of catastrophic costs when the state required autism coverage, but the actual costs have proved far lower leaving a $22 million balance in the fund.
Under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, Western Michigan University will receive $3 million from the State Autism Fund, while Central Michigan and Oakland universities will continue receiving $500,000 apiece. The universities will use the funding to train health workers to diagnose and treat individuals diagnosed with autism.
In addition, the bill appropriates $1.5 million to the Autism Alliance of Michigan to provide assistance and resources for families dealing with autism.
“We’re working to build a stronger provider network to help people who cope with autism spectrum disorders and their families and provide assistance for families,” Snyder said. “For years, Michigan families struggled to find the help they’ve needed. I appreciate Lt. Gov. Brian Calley’s efforts to work with our partners in the Legislature to improve access and insurance coverage.”
The fund was created as part of a three-bill package made law by the state in 2012, making Michigan the 30th state to enact autism insurance reform. Another eight states have since followed suit.
The Autism Coverage Reimbursement Act was designed to cover high costs predicted by insurers as a result of autism insurance reform.
In a fiscal analysis prepared by the state Senate, opponents of autism insurance reform warned that “requirements imposed by the State, such as the autism coverage mandate, …drive up costs, leading fewer employers to provide insurance for their workers and ultimately increasing the number of underinsured and uninsured. In addition, under the bills, insurance carriers will have to comply with the coverage mandate even if a shortfall in the Autism Treatment Fund precludes reimbursement, leaving individual and group purchasers, particularly small businesses, to bear the cost.”
As an alternative, the opponents recommended that state taxpayers pick up the full cost for autism coverage or establish a “scholarship” program in which families “could” gain reimbursement for private treatment of autism outside the schools.
As of September 30, 2014, the state fund was running a $22 million balance, allowing for the $5.5 million appropriation.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic 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 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.