While I prepare to update what's going on in the special education part of our lives, here's one more link to an article by an emergency room doctor that was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Enjoy!
Senate Finance Committee Passes Health Insurance Reform Bill Containing Menendez Amendment for Autism Insurance Reform
Washington, DC (October 13, 2009) -- Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, today applauds the members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for their 14 to 9 passage of a health care reform bill, the America’s Health Future Act, containing an amendment for autism insurance reform.
The amendment, introduced in September by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and passed by the Committee with the support of Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), will prohibit discrimination in benefits against people with autism by including behavioral health treatments as part of the essential benefits package.
“We are grateful to Senators Menendez, Baucus, and their Committee colleagues for passing this health care reform bill. The legislation will ensure that families dealing with autism will be a part of larger health care reform,” said Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. “Short of finding a cure for autism, there is nothing that can have a more significant impact on the lives of people with autism and those who love them than putting an end to insurance discrimination.”
“I am proud to have included a number of my amendments in the legislation, which will help lower health insurance costs, protect consumers and expand access to health coverage,” said Senator Menendez in a press release. “My amendment to guarantee the coverage of behavioral health treatments will help bring economic security and peace of mind to many families dealing with autism or other behavioral health conditions.”
The next step is for the Finance Committee bill to be merged with the Senate HELP Committee bill passed earlier this year. The combined bill will then head to the Senate floor for a vote. Once the Senate and House have passed their respective bills, they must go through a conference committee before reaching the President's desk to be signed into law. Please visit autismvotes.org for updates on health care reform and the elimination of insurance discrimination related to autism.
I have been intentionally silent here for quite a number of weeks. The health care debate continues to take place and I continue to wonder if we will have health care reform, health insurance reform, or just change with no real reform. We each have an opinion or idea and I'm not interested in participating in a battling of the blogs. But I have had the opportunity to hear Mr Wendell Potter, the former VP of Communications for Cigna, speak on various programs and I find his opinion to be well informed and worth posting for review. Here he is speaking before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Comm.
It's possible that the venue of a House Democratic committee is not your idea of fair and balanced, so is a a 37 minute interview on Bill Moyers Journal that I found to be very informative and even handed:
Boomer born in Flint, MI; moved around MI & IN and returned to Flint for high school at Powers HS. Moved to TN & attended MTSU and then UTCHS College of Nursing in Memphis.
Married since 1982 to Angry Liberal Man (ALM) with three kids:
Floggy - son, Class of '05, completed mechanic school at NADC in Nashville, TN.
Ms Giggles - daughter, Class of 08, preparing to return in the fall to state university.
Little Dude - son, in middle school; was a tiny preemie and stayed in the NICU at Loudoun Hospital for 37 days. Initially had numerous physical challenges that have pretty much resolved, except for the glasses. On an IEP since before 1st grade for fine motor, sensory, and visual motor integration challenges, but has an awesome brain.
Moved to Loudoun County in Oct, 1998; have also lived in Dallas, Southern ME, Central PA.
Took first sewing class before high school and turned it into a small business when Little Dude started preschool.