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Families of Autistic Children Fight for Kate's Law

Posted by on May. 8, 2009 at 2:17 PM
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Families of Autistic Children Fight for Kate's Law

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      By Denise Hnytka (WICHITA, Kan)

      Ten states already have it, and two are considering it - a law that requires insurance companies cover the treatment of autism.
      In Kansas, the bill is called Kate's Law. This session, it didn't make it out of the Senate or the House of Representatives. But this setback isn't stopping the people fighting for it.  Since his diagnosis at age three, Linda Kendrick has watched her grandson improve. Londan, now six years old, is autistic.
      "When we got this diagnosis, we didn't know what to do," said Kendrick. "I wanted to know how I could help him and make his life easier and consequently our life easier."
      Londan gets individual attention during sessions at Heartspring. Kate's Law would require insurance companies cover this kind of treatment.
      "I know a lot of parents would sacrifice a whole bunch if they could find someone even to pay part of their treatment," said Kendrick. "They would sacrifice to find the rest of it."
      Kate's Law was voted down in the house earlier this month, a disappointment to Kendrick and those at Heartspring.
      "All of us as a community need to say that these kids matter," said Connie Coulter, Director of Autism Outreach at Heartspring. "They matter so much that we are going to call our state legislator next year."
      Coulter believes legislators are misinformed about the bill's impact. Kate's Law would have raised insurance premiums for everyone, but she says only by less than two dollars a month.
      "How can you say to someone that their child is not worth $1.88 a month?," asked Coulter.
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by on May. 8, 2009 at 2:17 PM
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jalemans
by Bronze Member on May. 9, 2009 at 9:24 AM
LOL (at myself) -- I just ranted about the post regarding the aversion behavior modification in schools as one of my two main issues I lobby about & here is the other! I have been in contact with my senator & house rep, as well as the house commitee people on these bills in MN. This is all about money to the insurance companies. I think our elected officials need to understand that not only is it morally wrong for these insurance companies to deny our kids coverage, but that one way or another we all have to pay. Because private purchased insurance won't cover little Matthew, we have been forced to try to get coverage through medical assistance & this means the taxpayers are paying for it. If these kids are denied medical assistance & they go without treatment, they are going to grow up to be adults less able to function in our society (& guess who is going to need to take care of them?). We have to take care of these kids & there is no way to weasel out of it. It is much more economically reasonable to help them reach their potential so they will need less help as adults. The insurance companies don't have a leg to stand on (IMHO)-- ASD is now proven to be a medical condition & treatment is far less expensive than for a host of other cronic childhood disorders & diseases. What burns me is that if Matthew had been in a car accident where he received a brain trauma, they would pay for speech therapy, but since he has ASD, they will not. If money was the only factor, then what is to stop them from paying for cancer treatments? Of course, they can't do that, but then they cannot use costs as their excuse either. They are still harping to some degree that ASD is the result of poor parenting & that there is no proven treatment, but we all know this is untrue. I exchanged several e-mails with one of the House Commitee chairs here in MN. The Autism Insurance bill passed his commitee, but he told me it was unlikely in will pass when it comes to voting it into law because of the pressure big insurance companies are putting on the reps. I feel WE, the people they represent, need to put equal pressure on them. Sadly, I haven't been able to convince anyone else to do so. (Those officials probably think I am a crazy person). If anyone feels as I do, please e-mail your elected officials & let them know how you feel.
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