GENESIS HEALTHCARE HALTS VACCINATIONS
DID GARDINER HARRIS GET IT "ENTIRELY WRONG?"

PA INSURANCE BILL FOR AUTISM CAUSES OUTCRY

Liberty_bell_crackPITTSBURGH, July 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday in a historical and unprecedented move, the Pennsylvania legislature voted nearly unanimously in the affirmative for House Bill 1150 to mandate commercial insurance companies to cover some services for children with autism. The bill, introduced by House Speaker Dennis M. O'Brien, requires insurance companies to cover up to $36,000 of autism-related treatment for individuals less than 21 years old.

Autism Speaks, a national organization that conducts fundraising for research, and their paid lobbyists from Ikon, Inc., made several back-door concessions on the bill without the consent of Speaker O'Brien.

In nearly one full week of roller-coaster negotiations with the House Banking and Insurance Committee, headed by Senator Don White, the bill was stripped of all useful language, leaving Pennsylvania children with autism vulnerable to denials of coverage. House Speaker O'Brien, along with Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and Secretary Estelle Richman of the Department of Public Welfare joined in condemning the gutting of the bill.

Read the full Yahoo news article HERE.

Comments

Thank You Cindy!!!

Kelli Ann,

I never said you "bashed" Cindy. I simply meant I didn't want to see it, so nobody better do it. I am sorry if it was taken in the wrong way.

I guess I feel as though I can NEVER put my boxing gloves down for one instant. "Specialists" have accused me of abuse for persuing Biomedical Intervention and testing. Our DAN doctor is being threatened to be shut down for noncompliance with the AAP, and must not speak too loudly. Emergency room physicians have asked me "What really happened? What did YOU do to your son?" after my son injured himself. I am in fight mode from getting this Bill in PA passed. I am just irritable from waking up and fighting teachers, doctors etc. every day. I can do nothing when kids are taken from my friends, and forcibly drugged. I am not throwing a pity party in any way. I think we can all relate to some of this. I just am so sick and tired of all the hatred and ignorance that comes across the Internet, News, etc. on this issue. So I sincerely apologize if my words were taken personally. I have become quite cranky.

However, AS is a huge organization. They do not support Biomedical Intervention, which sat alright with me. They are entitled to that. When they state that "Katie has no comment" and it is because they hadn't asked her for one, really upsets me. I hurt for Katie Wright. AS could give back just a little bit to children in communities. They don't often hold a candle to what other organizations are doing by giving back. Their latest commercial specifically tells parents to look for the signs of autism from birth. That is fine, but what about all those kids who "Lose" skills? I just can't and won't agree with them. The last thing I ever want to do is fight with other parents. If this discussion is one-sided on our part, I will gladly listen to an explanation from them on what they did to the PA Bill if it MAKES SENSE. It didn't. I welcome one that does. My intention is not to hurt other people.

Kelli Ann, I love what you do here. I simply wanted to praise Cindy, and I will try to do that without "bashing" AS and other parents from now on. That was not my intention. But I do believe in bringing things to the light. Like I said, I wake up every day ready to defend what I believe in for my children's sake. I think we all do.

Kelli Ann Davis

Thank You Cindy!!!

You may want to go back and reread the comments. The only *bashing* I notated was directed towards Autism Speaks.

No where in the comments do you see anyone *bashing* Cindy.

What you will see is questions regarding some of the conflicting stories being circulated. And those questions were directed toward Cindy because AutismLink put out the press release.

And Cindy and others have provided additional information because of the questions raised.

What I have an issue with is the fact that most AS bashing is a one-sided event and rarely contains the full facts of the situation.

Now, that may be *okay* with you, but it will never sit well with me -- especially when other parents are involved.


Thank You Cindy!!!

NOBODY put more time and effort into keeping PA families informed than Cindy and AUTISMLINK. How can you believe in an organization who won't even support Katie and Christian, for whom it was founded? Cindy was on the front lines with this issue. She has no reason to lie about what happened. She works until she is exhausted, and she certainly isn't riding around in a private jet and BMW from it all. In fact, Central PA's Autism Walk donated half of the proceeds to AUTISMLINK. They were there through it all. Guess what they did with their money? They gave it back locally to our kids. I will not have anyone bashing Cindy here! She never quits until the job is done, and done well.

cindy

I wanted to share this with all of you. Someone posted this on the AS Boards and it's brilliant. If you go back and follow the timeline of the AS alerts, etc. it proves they were in the wrong:

*********************************************

I would really like to believe that Autism Speaks is far more savvy about the political process than the rest of us and their involvement in the passage of this bill was calculated to have the very outcome that PA autism families are now celebrating. But as I pour through news articles - including AS' own press releases - I'm seeing too many inconsistencies, too many holes in the argument that AS planned it this way all along. Why would AS have pressed the community to call their representatives and urge them to vote for the gutted version of the bill??? The prevailing explanation is that AS wanted to record a "win," even if it meant a hollow victory for PA families struggling with autism. Thankfully, the people of PA rose to the occasion and secured a real win.

It's easy to say "We won! Let's move on!" But if we don't learn from history, we're doomed to repeat it. Autism Speaks has not provided an explanation to the community for why they did not share information with PA advocates about their puzzling strategy and their direct dealings with PA's elected officials which excluded PA advocates. Autism Speaks appears to have broken its promise - that they would help Speaker O'Brien in his efforts to enact sound autism insurance legislation. Here's what Speaker O'Brien had to say on June 29 about the version of the bill that AS supported and urged residents to call their reps and support:

Quote:
"The current version of HB 1150 may look like it gives coverage to families affected by autism, but it's an illusion. This version will actually hurt some families who have kids with autism... This risk is unacceptable."


I'm sorry, but by no stretch can I give AS credit for helping pass this bill. AS's actions were denounced by every PA autism organization that I can find. Families who walk for AS and help raise millions of dollars for this organization should consider finding a new organization to fundraise for.

Mdurci

As one of the parents who was recieving play -by-play corespondence and who was involved in phoning and e-mailing my state senator, representative and other legistlators, I can tell you this battle was won due to tireless efforts of people like Cindy and others who kept us posted and encouraged our participation to keep Speaker O'Brien's bill intact and not accept the amended version pushed by AS lobbiests. AS needs to hear the complaints and feel the pressure so this does not happen to anyone else. PA parents, Speaker O'Brien, and PA Autism organizations won this battle.
Maria

cindy

You know, I made a video sequencing the events of what happened with AS in chronological order by date.

I was going to upload it to youtube, but I think I did it more for cathartic reasons than for public consumption, so I didn't upload it, nor do I intend to.

Kelli: to answer your question....when the bill came out of the Senate, gutted, Speaker O'Brien said, no way. He was joined by Gov. Rendell and Secretary Richman, over 250 parents and 62 organizations both national and statewide who said -- only the speaker speaks for us.

Believe me, nobody knows better than he what should be in the bill. We trusted in him.

So......the PA grassroots orgs went to the House and said, restore the bill. They did. It went back to the Senate where they were also handed the comments from 250 pennsylvanians and 62 organizations that said -- only the speaker speaks for us.

I think what won the bill is the overwhelming support from the grassroots orgs in PA. Autism Speaks got their butts handed to them by the parents in this state because they didn't listen to us, and they didn't understand our unique set of circumstances, and we weren't going to tolerate it.

I received many emails from across the country from folks who said the same of AS -- they didn't listen to them, took over, made their bill and left.

In most states, that's fine. Most states don't have the services that PA has. We already had the infrastructure set up with medical assistance -- we needed to make sure the insurance industry followed suit with the same set of criteria that MA has. AS merely wanted a check mark on another state so that they could continue their quest for a federal mandate.

That's all well and good, and a lofty and noble goal, but to get there, you have to learn to listen to the folks in the states you're invading, and try not to be so arrogant and omniscient.

Hope this answers your question.....

Cindy

Angela S.

Why would Autism Speaks want to support something other than what PA thought was best for the families in their state?

If they claim to speak for all the families in PA why wouldn't they listen to what the families wanted?

Why were they silent when 62 other organizations were supporting Speaker O'Brien's amendments?

It was like the families in PA were asking for a life raft to stay afloat, and AS wanted them to settle for a pair of floaties.

nepaland

most interested folks in pa know what went on recently, know what has been going on for close to 5 years; our time in pa is now better spent preparing for the great changes about to occur for the betterment of our pa kids...

Kelli Ann Davis

Cindy, no problem. Just trying to get clarity on the subject.

Okay. So in a nutshell, when the bill came out of the Senate with the revisions, Speaker O’Brien accepted *some* of the compromises but called in the big guns (Gov, Sect, etc) to back him as he reinserted the medical criteria language back into the bill which then went back to the Senate where it passed with only one dissenting vote???

Very interesting. You think there would have been more than just one dissenting vote in the Senate considering all the *gutting* that went on. The public pressure must have been tremendous to get an almost unanimous vote in the Senate the second time around. Was the one dissenting vote issued from a Senator on the B&I committee???

cindy

More ponderings....

When you go into someone's home, you show respect. Autism Speaks just doesn't seem to understand this. They were a guest in our state -- the kind of guest that comes in, puts their feet on your coffee table, goes into your refrigerator and cracks open a beer.

They didn't listen to the PEOPLE in PENNSYLVANIA. They were arrogant to think that they knew better than we knew -- that we would just cowtow to whatever it is that they want. Well, suffice to say that now they know better.

God knows they are a powerful organization and they COULD help develop a national insurance mandate. But what they need to learn is -- you don't come into someone else's house and act like you're the king of the castle.

I think that the PA autism community showed them that. We showed them the door, too. They are now spinning like a cyclone in the PR department because they took a hit, locally in PA and nationally.

They could have said, "yay Pennsylvania advocates for fighting so hard to make the bill better." But instead, they said, "We know better than you, our bill is best."

We had so many people sending messages to the legislature, supporting the "only the speaker speaks for me" initiative, that the writing was on the wall.

I think that Autism Speaks has great potential. That potential has always been overshadowed by their arrogance and disrespect toward grassroots organizations, or those who differ with their opinion.

Respectfully,

Cindy W.

cindy

Kelli:

Sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound personal. This whole thing has left me quite cranky.

I tried to answer your questions with facts, and back them up.... I hope my answers suffice. If you have more questions, I welcome them.

Kelli Ann Davis

Cindy,

I'm not all over anybody's case. I'm asking questions so I can get all the facts. Cuz like most everyone else who doesn't live in PA, we're hearing conflicting statements.

AutismLinks is the organization that put out the Press Release and decided to highlight that AS was engaged in underhanded tactics and and that's why the questions are directed to you.

(I was getting ready to post this and I see that there are others who are commenting with additional information as well.)

Kelli

Karen Woodings

Dear Mr. Olmstead and group,

I seldom post comments, but as these appeared to be really personal, I felt compelled to respond.

I've heard it said that the most dangerous person in the world is the one who believes themselves to be enlightened. Or simply put, someone who thinks they are in "the know". We may be seeing some of this come into play here on your website.

Being someone who worked on HB 1150 for three years with the Speaker's office, the parent advocacy community, and for the last 18 months -- Autism Speaks, I feel a wee bit qualified to reply to some concerns.

First, I don't know Peter Bell, but perhaps we should leave he and his family alone. He believes whatever he believes -- and it is none of our business. Let him raise his child as he sees fit.

Second, the Penn Family wasn't entirely accurate and this will answer Kelli's question.

I believe the largest factor/reason Senator Don White moved HB 1150 out of committee was because of the EXTREMELY positive PA Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) report and concurrent pressure from the speaker's office, and from PA families. While having the lobbyist lobby, did not hurt, that was not the tour de force that created motion of the bill.

The senator announced 4-1-08 at his senate hearing that he would not bring the bill up for a vote until he had the PHC4 report in hand. PHC4 announced on 6-19-08 that HB 1150 would help children with autism and that it would not only save dollars this fiscal year but it would save signficant dollars in the future.

Why did the report come back that way? BECAUSE OF PENNSYVLANIA FAMILIES. Because the speaker pleaded with families to submit data to PHC4 last fall. The experts did the expert thing but there was an "overwhelming response" from parents of children with autism.

Thirdly, Cindy W. nor myself, had anything to do with what services the bill would or wouldn't cover. We did not write the legislation. We simply shared the message throughout our state, our speaker speaks for us!

I feel quite strongly about saying the Speaker's amendments to the bill were not simply a few commas and punctuation.

The amendment makes small but fundamental improvements that strengthen the scope of coverage for autism services. The House amendment will ensure continuity of care for families getting coverage under both private insurance and the medical assistance program by including precise definitions of care. The definitions ensure than the bill will cover essential autism services, including those that prevent a child from regressing in level of functioning.

There is incredible power in words, missing words, or the wrong words. The first verision of HB 1150 that passed the PA Senate left a back door in the law to deny children coverage. The Speaker of the house wrote in a prepared statement that this was not acceptable.

Simply put, the amended language ensures that insurance companies could not shut off the spigot of ABA services when our children are doing well or when they regress.

Having read AS statements and Autismlink statements, I understand they can be seen as directly opposing views. I, myself, have said publicly that PA is the cautionary tale to other states. Without embellishment, I will say that what happens in the dark always comes out in the light.

But now, however, is a time to celebrate our huge success! PA has the strongest Autism Insurance Mitigation Legislation IN THE COUNTRY! We have all worked together to create a gold standard for other states where the discrimination continues.

Congratulations to each and every PA family member, friend, or interested party! You the voters, with a little help from the Speaker Dennis O'Brien, carried the day!

Karen Woodings


Kathy H.

The point here is that the political process is not always an honest and fair one be it at the State or Federal level. When lobbying comes from the attorney's of not for profit organizations red flags should go up. What interest does AS have in this other than more to gain financially as well as the publicity to go along with it. As parents we do not feel AS " speaks" for us or our children as well as the fact that nothing they do actually helps our children on a day to day basis. Autismlink's daily grass-roots efforts to support us as families and actually use their funds, time and energy to do whatever it takes in our community to help our children is what supporting Autism is all about. Thank you Cindy and Autismlink for working so hard getting this bill passed and no thank you to AS for dropping in at the last minute to help out the insurance companies, then take credit for it..........

ASDx24me

Cindy is right. Those of you not in PA don't understand the struggle. It took me years to understand medical necessity criteria.

Also -- here's the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council Report, which wasn't released until June 18th.

http://www.phc4.org/reports/mandates/HB1150/AutismPanelReport061808.pdf

Autism Speaks had nothing to do with the bill coming out of committee.

DJW

Cindy

Also, you might want to check these out:

http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/223800

Cindy

Let me try to spell out the changes for you... because PA is very different from other states. The AS/Senate version of the bill was stripped of all medical necessity criteria language. That's the legal terminology that states who does and who does NOT receive services. We had it in the bill, they took it out. Dennis said NO....autism speaks said YES without listening to the PA advocates. Our medical assistance, where we now receive services, establishes medical necessity criteria for who receives services. We needed the insurance bill to adopt those same criteria. IF they didn't, there would be a back door for them to start denying services.

You clearly didn't look at the bill's entire history from start to finish.

Don't forget that the SPEAKER HIMSELF denounced the changes and was going to kill the bill if it went through with the changes that AS sanctioned.

You probably also weren't privvy to the statement put out by Speaker O'Brien after the changes made by AS:

"Statement by Speaker O’Brien regarding the status of HB 1150

Last year, I introduced House Bill 1150 in order to mitigate the health insurance industry’s blatant practice of discrimination against Pennsylvanians with autism. Since then, the House unanimously passed HB 1150. Governor Rendell voiced his strong support for HB 1150. An independent panel of experts hired by the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council gave HB 1150 an outstanding review.

But the Senate Insurance Committee this week decided to gut essential provisions of the bill. The version moving in the Senate is much different from the one I introduced. To be clear, changes made to HB 1150 this week would help insurance companies at the expense of kids with autism.

While I have agreed with several changes made to the bill, other changes in the current version go far beyond what I can accept. By virtue of those changes, I have been put in the terrible position that I cannot and will not support my own bill in its current form.

The current version of HB 1150 may look like it gives coverage to families affected by autism, but it’s an illusion. This version will actually hurt some families who have kids with autism. That’s because the current version gives the insurance companies a back-door way to continue denying coverage for autism services. Insurance companies will continue to second-guess these kids’ doctors and refuse to pay for autism services. The Senate-amended version gives them the power to unilaterally deny that coverage in the name of “medical necessity.”

This is the heart of the issue. HB 1150 insists that insurance companies shoulder a fair share of covering autism treatments, and caps that obligation at $36,000. If treatment costs for a child with autism exceed that amount, the insurance companies are off the hook and Medical Assistance will pick up from there.

Because families may be involved in both systems – private insurance and Medical Assistance – we must have consistent standards for determining coverage of autism services. Without consistent standards, some families will be left with less care than they are currently receiving from the state’s Medical Assistance program.

Families today are at least guaranteed some level of autism services under Medical Assistance. And Medical Assistance has a time-proven and federally-approved standard to determining coverage. We must have assurances in HB 1150 that any standard used by the insurance companies is consistent with the minimum standard used by Medical Assistance. Otherwise, families who receive certain services under Medical Assistance are at risk of having those services denied by private insurance. This risk is unacceptable.

Governor Rendell and I stand together on this issue: we cannot and will not support any version of HB 1150 that does not eliminate this risk of dissimilar coverage. We hope and expect the Senate to address the standards issue in a meaningful way before sending the bill to the House.

Dennis M. OBrien"

Cindy

The bill was "languishing" because Senator Don White sent it to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. The reason it came OUT of committee is because PHC4 recommended that the bill be passed.

The words about Autism Speaks came from JIM BOUDER. I don't see you all over his case?? Why is that?? More fun to pick on AutismLink? The Speaker's office used AutismLink as a conduit to get information out to the Autism Community.

And while you're having fun putting blame on my shoulders, don't forget that the Speaker, The Governor, and the Secretary of the Dept. of Public Welfare ALL DENOUNCED THE BILL AS IT WAS AMENDED.

I'm amazed that you all think I wield so much power in Government.

I can tell you exactly what was said to me from someone in Harrisburg -- THE BILL MOVED BECAUSE OF PHC4 -- AUTISM SPEAKS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT EXCEPT TO SCREW IT UP.

Kelli Ann Davis

Cindy,

What I have an issue with is the fact that we usually only hear one side of the story whenever it comes to AS bashing and quite frankly, that bothers me. It has nothing to do with *drinking the kool aid or being blind* but rather has everything to do with wanting all the facts.

For example, “penn family” wrote this comment on Ginger’s blog a few days ago in response to your press release:

“The bill is passed. The Governor is set to sign it next Wednesday. All is well in PA. Families will benefit. But everyone is still sore at Autism Speaks. Why? A week ago, they helped get the bill out of the Senate where it had sat for almost a year. They managed to get the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, which is bestowed to the insurance lobby, to cough up the bill with some concessions (remember this is politics). Sadly, this committee had the power to kill this bill. But they didn't. My guess is that Autism Speaks got them to budge...finally.

So the bill came back to the House, where it originated over a year ago. Speaker O'Brien and his team made some important amendments, got it passed unanimously and sent it back to the Senate. The Senate agreed, voted 49-1 (what's the problem with Senator Eichelberger?). Governor Rendell will now sign it. The drama is over.”

In addition, once the bill was passed by the Senate and was on its way back to the House, Elizabeth Emken (VP Government Relations, AS) had this to say:

“We have the utmost respect for Speaker of the House Dennis O’Brien. Speaker O’Brien has dedicated his career to improving the lives of individuals with autism. There would be no bill at all without Speaker O’Brien’s passionate leadership for these many years. We trust his judgment as to how the House should respond to the Senate bill.”

So, by the looks of it AS was able to *pry the bill loose* by negotiations which allowed it to get out of committee and back to the House where Speaker O’Brien could add back some of the original language.

Furthermore, according to “penn family” the differences between the original bill and the amended bill are minimal:

“So why is the story still about Autism Speaks and the "despicable" deal they cut with the PA Senate. Rather than jump on the "I hate Autism Speaks" gravy train, parents should look at the facts. All the iterations of HB 1150 can be found at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2007&sind=0&body=H&type=B&bn=1150

If you take the time to look at the difference between the amended Senate version of the bill (the one that everyone said would harm the children in PA) and the final version of the bill (the one that is now lauded as the best autism insurance bill in the country) you will see the following differences:

1) expands the definition of "Rehabilitative care" to include TO PRODUCE SOCIALLY SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR OR TO PREVENT LOSS OF ATTAINED SKILL OR FUNCTION"

2) changes the length of a diagnostic assessment from 12 months to "NOT LESS THAN" 12 months

3) punctuation (e.g. commas, plural words)

That's it folks. Those are the only amendments that were made to the bill that AutismLink described as being "stripped of all useful language". I encourage everyone to see for themselves.”

So I guess my question for you is, is it true that the bill was languishing for almost a year in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee? And if so, in your view what was the primary reason for the release of the bill at this time? In other words, what would you attribute it to specifically???

Kelli

Cindy Waeltermann

I would suggest if you doubt the story that you talk to Speaker O'Brien. The true story from someone on the INSIDE of the whole ordeal is that AS's lobbyists and Government Relations team went AGAINST Speaker O'Brien. AutismLink is NOT the only one who denounced it. Jim Bouder, the writer of the legislation issued a statement that said:

"I have learned recently that Autism Speaks’ Government Affairs team are now suggesting that they want to push the bill forward regardless of what Speaker O'Brien believes and regardless of the perils it poses to our Pennsylvania families. Recently, a leader of Autism Speaks indicated his desire to cause the "sense of a wave" in the states toward a larger National agenda. I responded to him that, in Pennsylvania, we need to have more than a "sense" of a wave - an "illusion" of a wave - but a REAL wave that meaningfully benefits Pennsylvania's families. Many of us with considerable experience navigating the Pennsylvania service systems believe that the bill as reported out of Senator White's Committee is an "illusion" of a mandate. In other words, an insurance bill is being prepared for passage that lacks any concrete assurance that it will actually help Pennsylvanians with autism and their families. We are the people who will live with what happens in the General Assembly in the next few days. We must be the voice the Pennsylvania legislature hears and we must be the people who stand behind Speaker O'Brien during the next several days.

In deciding which of the competing positions to support, our community must consider our history. Dennis has been our standard bearer for decades. He has been in the trenches with us on every important issue we have faced. We know this man. We know his integrity and we know his heart. He is one of our own. On the other hand, the Autism Speaks’ Government Affairs team are tourists in our community, and unfamiliar with the lay of Pennsylvania's service terrain. They have their own agenda, and it apparently focuses more on their national goals than on what actually happens on the ground here in Pennsylvania . If Autism Speaks tells you to ignore Dennis’s position or to support the stripped-down version of HB 1150, ask yourself two simple questions: (1) Where were they in the hard times during which Dennis fought for us against MA caps and premiums and for an adult autism waiver, and (2) where will they be months or years from now if this fatally flawed bill they are endorsing starts eliminating services our children so desperately need?

In the next few hours or days, our Speaker will tell us what he believes must be done with respect to this bill – this bill that he sponsored and championed and which many of us invested many, many hours in advocating. Listen to him. Follow his lead. Do not be distracted by those who share neither our history nor our future. Our Speaker Speaks for me and I ask you all to let our Speaker speak for us as well."

So don't be putting all of this on AutismLink. We were working with the Speaker's office the ENTIRE TIME. What do you this AS is going to do? Come out and say "we don't support Speaker O'Brien" when 62 organizations said they support him, as did the people of PA???

There is really no limit to the drinking of the AS kool aid.

Blind faith is a dangerous thing.

Cindy W.

David Troutman

I know that airing dirty laundry will be bad for the autism community but enough is enough. All you need to do is look at their 503 records you will be amazed. autism speaks for their payroll and perks. If Peter Bell thought his son was hurt by vaccines then he surely doesn`t show it. They refuse to even look at the roll vaccines and autism has in common,check where all their research money goes to. They make me sick and I wish they would just go away. If you don`t believe me ask Katie and her son.

Kelli Ann Davis

All,

I would urge caution on this issue -- especially in regards to making a judgment call on Peter Bell’s (VP of Autism Speaks) paraphrased statements at Autism One.

It could be that the point he was making was that protesting *alone* won’t get us anywhere – which of course, I would agree with because I believe we need both ruckus and diplomacy. Or it could be that Keith is correct in his paraphrasing and Peter said protesting isn’t important at all. I don’t know cuz I wasn’t there and right now we don’t have access to the exact words he spoke.

What I *do know* is that the following excerpts, taken from the transcripts of the NVAC Meeting in DC back on April 11, were issued by Peter and I found them to be tremendously encouraging and enlightening:

“Tyler was fully vaccinated. He received 26 vaccines during his first two years of life. Like most parents in this community, we went back and we looked at his vaccines records. He received 187.5 mg of thimerosal, actually mercury, and later on we, because of his GI problems we did an endoscopy and he did test positive for having the measles virus in his gut.”

“The autism community is generally not anti-vaccine, contrary to popular belief. We strongly believe in the merits of safe vaccination and children should continue to get vaccinated, but more research is needed to address important unanswered scientific questions including medically susceptible subgroups, the timing of vaccines, the cumulative effects of them, the dosage, multiple vaccines versus single vaccines, as well as the frequency of them, and my last point is very much heartfelt. We cannot demonize parents for asking these questions.”

“One of our priorities is to explore the possible role of vaccine-related trigger for autism in a potential subgroup of individuals who might be medically vulnerable. We are currently planning projects to explore the role of any of vaccines in adverse populations as well as unvaccinated populations, and we are currently exploring projects to ascertain the prevalence of mitochondrial dysfunction and disease and in the autism community. Mitochondrial disorders are not in your concept of autism, and clearly more research is needed to fully understand its purported connection to autism spectrum disorders.”


Keith

This basically follows what Peter Bell said at Autism One:

paraphrased
"protesting never gets you anywhere. parents stay out of this and let our professional lobbyists handle it for you"

It got recorded. I wonder if it ever got Youtubed?


The rest of the story...

It's important to note that this "news story" is simply a press-release from Autism Link. The comments from AS over the last week contradict what is said here. In every press release, they indicated their full support of the Speaker and pledged to follow his lead.

This is a time to celebrate landmark legislation that will truly make a difference to families struggling to obtain services. The political process is bumpy, but in this case, worked very well.

????

The comment on the Autism Speaks website (regarding the passage of the bill) is contradictory to what is written here.

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