As quoted from the Vermont Citizen Coalition on Autism Reform
We Need Your Help!
On Friday, March 12, the Senate Finance Committee voted an amended version of S262 (Autism Insurance Reform) out of committee. Disappointingly, this amended bill sidesteps the issue and calls for yet another study! It is being sent to the VT House of Representatives to be taken up by the House Committee on Health.
However, there is still hope for Autism Insurance Reform! This amended bill may be amended yet again! We are giving the House Clerk our original bill, along with our voluminous research findings, and asking them to take it up and work with us to craft a feasible bill, one that would be accepted by the House and Senate Joint Conference Committee.
Getting people to call or write to both Steve Maier, House Health Chair, and Shap Smith, Speaker of House, in support of the original bill, S262 Autism Insurance Reform, will be very important. We need you to share your stories, and say again and again that:
<> Autism is a medical/neurological condition that impedes a child’s ability to learn. Effective treatments exist. Insurance companies are discriminating against this particular condition and that is why we need this bill.
<> This bill has no affect on the State budget – It is budget-neutral. Furthermore, we believe it will save money for educational agencies in the long term by front-loading treatment and thereby decreasing the long term need for intensive support in school.
<> By providing an insurance payment mechanism, this bill will have the effect of increasing the number and availability of licensed autism treatment providers in Vermont at no cost to state agencies.
<> Schools are sorely pressed to provide the evidence-based treatment that ameliorates the symptoms of autism. They cannot do it alone. By providing access to effective medical treatment, this bill would decrease prohibitively expensive institutional placements. (The average institutional placement carries an annual cost of $279,000.
<> Society benefits by producing employable citizens who are capable of self-directing the course of their life with a lower level of community support and a lowered need for expensive crisis beds at psychiatric institutions.
We thank you all for your support. We believe passage of this bill have a beneficial ripple effect on many issues facing the autism community.
If you have questions, would like more information or would like to help us soldier, please email me here!!!
~ Thanks, Jon