5/15/09 – Autism Votes… It’s time for lawmakers to listen.
Dear Autism Advocate,
Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today applauded Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Hank Johnson (D-GA) for their introduction of a House companion bill to the Senate’s Autism Treatment Acceleration Act (ATAA), which was introduced last month by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Robert Casey (D-PA), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Like the Senate version, the House version of the ATAA (H.R. 2413) is comprehensive federal legislation that addresses several critical challenges facing the autism community, including increased funding for scientific research, treatment and services. The ATAA incorporates provisions from the Expanding the Promise of Individuals with Autism Act (EPIAA), originally proposed by Representatives Doyle, Smith, Engel, and former-Representative Chip Pickering.
As in the Senate’s ATAA bill, a key section of the House bill requires all insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASDs), including coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy – a medically-necessary, evidence-based autism treatment. While the number of states that have enacted comprehensive autism insurance reform legislation has grown to ten, most state insurers are still allowed to specifically exclude coverage for these critical services, which can cost upward of $50,000 a year – well beyond the means of most families.
The House version of the bill also addresses the unique needs of adults with ASDs, creating a demonstration project with one-year planning grants and multi-year implementation grants for the provision of service for adults with autism. In addition, it creates the Network for Autism Spectrum Disorders Research and Services aimed at accelerating the dissemination and utilization of critical, new information, moving it from “bench to bedside” as quickly as possible.
Now help us get ATAA Passed!
CONTACT YOUR FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVE!Urge him/her to become a cosponsor of the ATAA bill, H.R. 2413.
> Call your Representative’s office and let him/her know that you support the ATAA bill, H.R. 2413, and you want your Representative to become a cosponsor today. Click here to find the name and phone number for your federal Representative!
> Send an email to your Representative! Autism Votes has written part of the email message for you. All you need to do is fill in the empty box with your story about your family’s experience with autism and how the ATAA bill will help.
2. STAY INFORMED ON THE ATAA BILL! Sign up to receive Autism Votes email alerts and stay informed on the progress of the ATAA bill.
3. FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY! Get your friends and family involved in getting the ATAA bill passed.
For a complete summary description of both the House and Senate ATAA bills, visit our website at www.AutismVotes.org/ATAA.
Vice President, Government Relations