Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Comprehensive Autism Legislation Introduced in House of Representatives

The Autism Society of American reports that major legislation regarding autism was introduced into the House of Representatives last week as a companion to a bill introduced into the Senate in April.

"The Autism Society applauds this comprehensive autism legislation focused around enhancing the quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

The Autism Society especially applauds the inclusion of support services for adults on the autism spectrum in this bill. Currently, the federal government provides for educational services until age 21; however, autism is a lifelong disorder, and when the school bus stops coming, individuals and families are often left to fend for themselves. ATAA creates a demonstration project to provide an array of services to adults with autism spectrum disorders, including: postsecondary education; vocational and self-advocacy skills; employment; residential services, supports and housing; nutrition, health and wellness; recreational and social activities; and transportation and personal safety.

The legislation also would provide for the establishment of a national network in order to strengthen linkages between research and service initiatives at the federal, regional, state and local levels, and facilitate the translation of research on autism into services and treatments that will improve the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families. A national data repository would be created to share emerging data, findings and treatment models.

Other key aspects of the bill include:

* the establishment of a national training initiative on autism and a technical assistance center to develop and expand interdisciplinary training and continuing education on autism spectrum disorders; and
* a requirement that health insurers cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, assistive communication devices and other effective treatments.

The Autism Society needs your help in order to help pass this critical legislation. Please contact your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor the bill. We’ve composed an e-mail describing all the vital aspects of this bill but it will be especially effective if you add your own story describing how ATAA would help you and your family.

The time to act is now. Please support this important issue today, and urge your friends to take action as well. Together, we can improve the quality of live for individuals with autism across the lifespan."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Keeping Track of Healthcare Reform in Washington

For those of you interested in President Obama's effortsd to reform the nation's healthcare system, here is an article regarding the pledge of some healthcare providers to reduce the cost of healthcare and to support portions of the President's program.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ohio Insurance Reform


Your Senator Can Bring About Fair 
Health Insurance Rates

Ask Your Senator to "Keep the Open
Enrollment Reforms in H.B. 1"

Paying claims costs insurers money, so they
have a powerful reason to protect themselves
against covering individuals in less-than-perfect
health. In Ohio, insurers can deny coverage to
individuals with pre-existing conditions, exclude
coverage for a pre-existing condition, or charge
higher premiums. 

Over a decade ago, Ohio created an Open
Enrollment Program for people who were denied
coverage. Unfortunately, that Program no longer
works because the extremely high premiums are
out of reach for most Ohioans. Over 196,063
Ohioans between ages 50-64 are uninsured and
that number is growing with more lay-offs and
plant closures every day. For these individuals,
who do not have employer-based coverage,
insurance rates in 2010 are expected to average
$815 per individual per month. Some insurers
are advertising rates that exceed $3,000 per
individual per month. 

This can be fixed. The new Open Enrollment
Program in House Bill One will narrow the
wide variation in premiums. It will also limit
"cherry picking"... also known as "segmentation,"
to prevent unfair discrimination against individuals
with less-than-perfect health or with perceived
health risks. 

        There's no time to delay. 

    Please Call 1-888-844-5009

You will be connected to the office of Your Senator. 

Tell Your Senator... 

"Fix It Now. Keep the Open Enrollment Reforms
that were passed
by the House.  HB 1 -- State Budget Bill." 

Please send this Alert to others who support fair insurance rates.