Monday, April 1, 2013

Legal priorities in WA: Is this an April Fool's Day prank?

I'm having a nausea-inducing sense of deja vu right now, and I wonder if I'm somehow getting punked on April Fool's Day (a.k.a. the first day of Autism Awareness Month). Beware, because a rant is a' comin'...

Scheduled today in my state's capitol of Olympia, Washington, is a Senate Health Care Committee hearing to discuss an abortion mandate, known as the "Reproductive Parity Act."

This is the same exact type of Senate hearing that I testified at when I was working to enact "Autism Insurance Parity" in the State of Washington. Shayan's Law, as it was commonly known, never saw the light of day because it got shut down by the Health Care Committee every time it was presented.

We had a HUGE grassroots effort, and it was standing room only at our particular Senate hearing. Autism families and our various supporters joined together for rallies at the capitol. Hundreds of us were knocking on the doors of our legislators' offices, scheduling meetings with them, sending emails, and making phone calls to voice our opinion about the importance of autism insurance parity for Washington.

For what?


Autism doesn't matter enough to the law makers in Washington State to do anything about providing mandates for coverage like so many other states in our country have already done.

It appears now that abortions could be more important than autism.

Pardon me while I vomit.

The fight for autism continues. Small strides are being taken through the work of some dedicated attorneys and an organization that is working to sue every insurance company that operates in Washington State, until autism coverage is mandated for everyone. God bless them for continuing the carry the torch of autism for all of us!

And, they are winning!

People are starting to get coverage for necessary autism therapies in drips and drabs. Unfortunately, my family's insurance company has not entered the court room yet, but their day is coming. I only wish it would come faster!

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Until then, my kids will continue to be denied coverage, and we will continue to not get the therapies they need so much, all due to the fact that we are not wealthy enough to pay for it all out of our own pocket.


It saddens me to think that abortion mandates are more important than autism mandates. Our kids with autism need help. Families are suffering under the financial burden of autism. Children are not getting services that could help them in both the short and long-term. The people who could enact meaningful change that would better the lives of so many of our state's citizens choose not to.

This is not what I consider to be a good start to Autism Awareness Month.

(Please note: This is my opinion about the importance of one issue over another, and I am entitled to feel the way I feel. Negative comments that seek to engage me or any of my readers in a bitter political debate are not welcome.) 
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