House File #181 was introduced by Rep Norton (DFL) from Rochester, MN on January 30, 2013. This is the same legislation that was introduced for years now with different numbers and failed year after year in both DFL and GOP held Committees with HF359, HF204, HF1079, SF1071. It had more number changes than P. Diddy had name changes. The numbers changed, but NOT the language, it is still the same old tired, bias, prejudice and non research based language that logical legislators voted NO before. Further, NO other state in the country out of the 37 states with autism coverage have this kind of language.
Note; while 37 states have private autism coverage only 9 states have Medicaid autism coverage. (think about the level of racial and economic disparity that has created. Why would Minn add to an already boiling injury) .
Here is why it failed and we hope it does again this year:
1. It says Autism therapy should ONLY be covered for children that have private state regulated insurance which is less than 30% of the market that leaves more children than it includes.
2. It leaves out low income autism families many of whom have Medicaid (Medical Assistance). Wrong in every sense of the meaning of the word!
3. It leaves out children whose parents work at Target, Walmart, Best Buy or any big self funded insurance company. This includes the engineer at 3M, the overnight cashier at Walmart or the sales person at Best Buy.
4. It gives over-reaching power to few greedy providers without any factual research from any double blind study anywhere in the country or the world. For example, no research that is objective says 40 hours of intensive therapy is good for a 2 year old, 5 year old, 10 year old and a 20 year old. See below links from IACC (Federal Autism Advisory Committee) recently published national strategic plan for services research policy which is what Congress and the Sec of U.S Health Human Services use as a guide for all autism issues in the country.
Why is Minn coming up with untested, unproven and expensive coverage. Who exactly benefits from that, certainly not the children because research should drive what, who and for how long therapy is provided. HF181 is being driven by expensive, elite and racist lobbyist and their legislative puppets without any base for scientific based research and equal justice by choosing losers and winners. Shouldn’t all children be winners?
5. By taking comments and advice from overpaid and arrogant lobbyist makes Governor Wallace (DFL of AL) seem like an inclusive angel. Their goal is autism disparity today, Autism disparity tomorrow and Autism disparity forever. The sad thing is – this is 2013 and we have a Black President. This kind of exclusive arrogance is why disparity for Black and Latino autism kids is extremely high. The current language of this autism coverage legislation HF181 only promotes and enhances deliberate discrimination and more health inequity for the have nots.
6. It mentions Lovaas therapy as a method of autism therapy. Dr. Ivar Lovaas did a study on autism and ABA which has never been repeated whereby the same results were gotten. In addition, there are many kinds of ABA such as VB, etc and I don’t see those folks names being called as the actual therapy.
This is the provider who tried to tell Minn dept of Human services (DHS) it is medically necessary to bill for three different therapist at the same-time, for the same child and claim it is medically necessary whereby a judge in Ramsey district court for the unth time ruled wrong and not medically necessary, nor is it allowed by DHS, CMS or Congress. See below articles.
For instance, who the heck gets 3 bills when you go to a clinic (from the receptionist, nurse and doctor) You get one bill – it is called cost of doing business. This provider is so greedy that AIG JP Morgan look like Mother Teresa angels.
7. It leaves out other equally helpful therapies that are based on developmental and play approaches such as EDSM, FloorTime, etc. Well – actually I heard because they too have lobbyist and the funding to fight, their language was just added yesterday.
8. It leaves out people that are public employees and have children with autism.
9. Those deciding and helping Rep. Norton are as white as Minnesota ice and lack diversity and inclusion from racial and socioeconomic lower families. This kind of tactic is why we have such high health disparity in Minnesota – one of the worst in the country. I am beginning to see this is not an accident, rather subtle policies that deliver disparity all while giving us a hug, smiling and saying we care. What a load of crap – if you don’t mean your words then please don’t patronize us.
10. Rep. Norton wants to dictate, mandate and order private companies to pay for services it is not willing to cover for its own patients of Medicaid who are the most financially vulnerable and can not by any means afford autism therapy. That is like going to your neighbors house and demanding they feed their kids and clean their house, while your own children are starving and your own house is dirty. Isn’t this the ultimate elite way to write any legislation? I would say it is DOUBLE STANDARD access to health care services at its best.
Rep. Norton, why not have adult conversations with families from North Minneapolis, South Minneapolis, Mankato, St. Paul, Blacks,Whites, Hispanics, Health Plans (since you want to order them around) and Minnesota department of human services so that you get a consensus whereby the children win not some arrogant and ignorant lobbyist or their employer?
I urge Committee Chairs in both the house and the senate and others to please ask Rep. Norton to go back and work on this legislation in a holistic and fair manner. Because right now it sounds disparity today, disparity tomorrow and disparity forever. And, that is wrong in 2013 and a Black President.
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/119121669.html?refer=y <http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/119121669.html?refer=y> http://iacc.hhs.gov/events/2013/012913/iacc_sp_2012_update_012913.pdf <http://iacc.hhs.gov/events/2013/012913/iacc_sp_2012_update_012913.pdf> http://iacc.hhs.gov/events/2013/full-committee-mtg-materials-jan29.shtm <http://iacc.hhs.gov/events/2013/full-committee-mtg-materials-jan29.shtm> http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/state-is-auditing-autism-centers-including-rochester-one/article_8a8badba-fbb9-596a-be0b-2f86d00576ff.html <http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/state-is-auditing-autism-centers-including-rochester-one/article_8a8badba-fbb9-596a-be0b-2f86d00576ff.html>
Idil – Somali Autism Mom. (please vote on the side of fairness and equal access for all) Permalink: blog.saafmn.org/2013/02/01/please-vote-no-on-hf-181—autism-therapy-discrimination-bill.aspx <http://blog.saafmn.org/2013/02/01/please-vote-no-on-hf-181—autism-therapy-discrimination-bill.aspx>
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