Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NEWS: Calif.: "Ruling deals a blow to denials of autism treatment"

Ruling deals a blow to denials of autism treatment

Refusing to cover a costly behavioral therapy because the care provider lacks a state license violates California law, a Los Angeles County judge finds.

By Lisa Girion
Los Angeles Times
October 27 2009

"A tactic used by insurance companies to deny expensive behavioral therapy to autistic children has been deemed illegal by a Los Angeles judge..."

The complete article can be viewed at:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SIDEBAR: Monday, Sept. 28 Meeting of the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorder

Meeting Announcement
Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorder
[N.B.-list of members and additional background info below *]

Meeting Time:
Monday, September 28, 2009
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Public Comment is welcome but may be limited due to time constraints.

Meeting Place:
Oregon State Capitol
Hearing Room C
900 Court Street NE


*The members of the Commission, established by


Marilyn Gense, Chair
Special Education Coordinator, Willamette Education Service District
: At-Large

Jean Rystrom, Vice Chair
Regional Practice Director of Pediatrics, Kaiser Permanente
Position: Insurance

Joyce Bernheim
Health Care Attorney
: Parent of a child

Gleason Eakin
Retired Educator, Administrator, and Founder of the Northwest Autism Foundation
Position: Advocacy Organization

Chris Edwards
Position: State Representative

Kirby Erickson
Autism Specialist, Southern Oregon Education Service District
Position: Parent of an adult

Robert Nickel, M.D.
Developmental Pediatrician, Child Development and Rehabilitation Center, OHSU
Position: Medical Community

Michelle (Mickey) Pardew
Professor, Special Education Division at Western Oregon University
: Higher Education

Dora Raymaker
Writer, Researcher, Trainer
Position: Consumer

Eric Richards
Director of Operations for the Office of Student Learning and Partnerships, Oregon Department of Education
: Oregon Department of Education

Clyde Saiki
Deputy Director, Oregon Department of Human Services
Position: Oregon Department of Human Services

Kristi Sandvik
Executive Director of Special Education Programs, Hillsboro School District
: Local Education

Background information:
Previous work by the Oregon Autism Project

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ACTION ALERT: Be Poised for Action on WEDNESDAY!

Important heads-up from Autism Votes!
An urgent action item is coming!
Dear Autism Advocate,

HEALTH CARE REFORM UPDATE: Things are moving VERY quickly in the House now with health care reform and we need you to be ready to act at a moment's notice and give it everything you've got!

Last night, The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed an autism amendment offered by Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Chairman of the Congressional Autism Caucus and member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to H.R. 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 - the House health care reform bill that is currently undergoing markup in the Energy and Commerce Committee. His amendment would set up national training initiatives on autism.

We anticipate that Congressman Doyle will introduce a very important amendment to the bill tomorrow that will SEEK TO END AUTISM INSURANCE DISCRIMINATION ONCE AND FOR ALL.

When that happens, we will need you to be ready to call following our direction AS FAST AND FURIOUSLY AS POSSIBLE.

We will need to make a loud statement that want this amendment to be attached to the bill.

Our children deserve appropriate healthcare that provides them with access to the medical treatments and therapies that can help them live more productive and fulfilling lives. Keep every one of them in mind as we make our way through this next stage in the process. They are counting on you!

Stay Tuned!

Elizabeth Emken
Vice President, Govenment Relations
Autism Speaks

Friday, July 17, 2009

ACTION: "FAX FRIDAY" to Speaker Pelosi, and THANK Representative Doyle for Supporting Autism Insurance Reform in Healthcare Reform!

Autism Speaks - Rep. Mike Doyle's [PA] Opening Remarks (July 16, 2009) 2:19

Washington, DC (July 16, 2009) -- In his opening remarks during the House Energy and Commerce Committee markup of HR 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-14), chair of the Congressional Autism Caucus, pledged that any bill that does not put an end to autism insurance discrimination is unacceptable.



Help Keep the Message on the Airwaves!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

THURSDAY'S ACTION ALERT: Keep your calls coming to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid

"...Autism Speaks is constantly adapting a strategy to give us the best chance of making this [autism insurance reform in health care reform] happen. The strategy may change every hour or it may appear redundant but there is a "method to the madness". The important thing is that as the troops, we stay alert and be ready to act when we get our mission plans..."

This is crunch time and if ever there was a time for concerted

grassroots action and advocacy - this is it.

A message passed along by one of the state Advocacy Chairs of Autism Speaks...
"Thursday, July 16 2009

Autism is relentless. In order to effect a change at the national level, we must be relentless too.

The government relations team at Autism Speaks is monitoring the health care reform issue in D.C. very closely. A health care reform bill is going to pass - likely in the next several weeks. The issues we face as families affected by autism must be addressed in this bill.

Autism Speaks is constantly adapting a strategy to give us the best chance of making this happen. The strategy may change every hour or it may appear redundant but there is a "method to the madness". The important thing is that as the troops, we stay alert and be ready to act when we get our mission plans.

Today's mission

Make two phone calls.
Call Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the phone numbers below:

Speaker Pelosi (202) 225-0100
Majority Leader Reid (202) 224-3542

Just say this:
"Hi, My name is ____________ ___. I am calling from (Your city, your state). I want you to know that health care reform that does not stop autism insurance discrimination is unacceptable. Thank you."

Be patient. Be polite. Keep dialing until you get through to them. Then do it again. If the voice mail box is full, call back and request that the receptionist take a message. Please send this message on to 15 other people.

Thanks and stay tuned!

Michael Wasmer, DVM
Founder, The Kansas Coalition for Autism Legislation (KCAL)
Autism Speaks Kansas Chapter Advocacy Chair

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Call Speaker Pelosi and demand autism insurance reform be part of health care reform

CALL U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER PELOSI'S OFFICE to let her know that health care reform MUST include autism insurance reform!


From Autismvotes
------------ --------- --------- -------
"The health reform ship has sailed and autism insurance reform is
currently NOT ON IT.

U.S. H.R. 3200 is currently IN MARK UP and our hope of achieving autism insurance reform for children with autism as part of the larger health reform initiative WILL REQUIRE AN AMENDMENT to the Resolution.


CALL U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Office at
and tell her office that health insurance reform that does not stop autism insurance discrimination is unacceptable.

You must get 20 people in your life MINIMUM to start calling NOW, and you must keep the PRESSURE UP and keep the PRESSURE ON if you want to see this for your children.

All you have to say is this simple message:

"Hi. My name is ________. I believe that health insurance that does not stop autism insurance discrimination is unacceptable and I am counting on Speaker Pelosi to be sure that children with autism have appropriate coverage for the treatments and therapies they deserve access to for their medical condition. Thank you."
------------ --------- -------

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sidebar: International report on impact of insurance inequity

U.S. insurance inequity and reform in the international press,
"...Guaranteed insurance would make a significant difference to people like Valerie Goodness, a firefighter in Corvallis, Oregon, who was forced to leave her job because of her 13-year-old son's autism. When her employer changed insurance companies, the new one refused to cover his "pre-existing condition" -- a common dodge regarded as one of the system's great iniquities [sic].

Now, if she earns more than $1,000 (€717) a month, she will lose the insurance provided by Medicaid, a state programme for the poor.

"And there is no way I could earn a job that would pay enough for private nursing at $20 to $30 an hour," said Mrs. Goodness.

"I feel like I am forced into poverty just so I can get insurance..."
US healthcare reform next on Obama hit list