Tennessee | Autism Politics, News & History

Tennessee | Autism Politics, Divergent News & History

Tennessee is the 50th state to enact autism insurance reform on August 3, 2019.

The reform forced insurance providers to cover Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). ABA is known as Autistic Conversion Therapy in the Autistic Community. 

The Autism Votes initiative was powered by Autism Speaks and other non-Autistic parent-founded autism organizations.

The ’autism community’ referenced in articles here is a different community than the Autistic community. The ’autism community’ prevented Autistics from participating in legislation, Autistic healthcare initiatives and more in a meaningful manner. Instead, Autistics are used as a prop or token in these initiatives. 

Autism Insurance Reform that included ABA was being protested by Autistics as it was being hailed by non-Autistics in the ’autism community.’ These non-Autistic parent-founded organizations and people didn’t listen to Autistics then, and they aren’t listening now.  

When this legislation was implemented, Autistics were silenced in the national conversation, and our civil, human and disabled rights circumvented or denied. 

Today, in every state, Autistics and our real allies are working hard to introduce legislation to get ABA banned.

We will be heard. 

Tennessee Legislative History

Autism Speaks commends Tennessee as it becomes 50th state requiring that insurance plans cover autism (Aug. 3, 2019)

Autism Speaks Endorses Tennessee Insurance Reform Bills (February 15, 2013)

Summary of 2009 Tennessee Autism Insurance Reform Bill

Autism Speaks Endorses 2009 Tennessee Autism Insurance Reform Bill (April 30, 2009)

Autism Politics

Tennessee enacted autism insurance reform on August 3, 2019.

Bill History

August 3, 2019: Tennessee becomes the 50th state to enact autism insurance reform.


March 26: House Insurance and Banking Committee defers further action to 2014

March 20: House subcommittee recommends passage with amendments of HB.1265; referred to full House Insurance and Banking Committee

February 14: HB.1265/SB.1286 introduced; HB.1265 referred to House Insurance and Banking Committee. SB.1286 referred to Senate Commerce and Labor Committee


May 25: Legislative session ends without passage of autism insurance reform.


April 15: Second hearing held by House Subcommittee on Industrial Impact on HB 2105

April 1: House Subcommittee on Industrial Impact holds hearing on HB 2105

March 4: HB 2105 referred to House Commerce Committee; assigned to the Subcommittee on Industrial Impact

February 26: Autism insurance bill, House Bill 2105, introduced in State House

Tennessee | The Latest …

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.”

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