Activists from around the state have managed to get the good autism health insurance reform bill, A6888 introduced by Assemblymember David Koon, on the agenda for the Assembly Insurance Committee meeting on Wednesday. Today we need you to call the leadership of the committee and the members of the committee, especially if they are your representatives in Albany, and politely let them know that A6888 is the only autism health insurance bill that will do our families any good. This an election year and the electorate is not in a good mood. Nobody in Albany will be willing to go on the record against ending health insurance discrimination.
A6888 has been endorsed by the Autism Action Network, the Foundation for Autism Research and Media, the National Autism Society New York Metro Chapter, the Autism Society of America, ASA chapters, in Nassau/Suffolk. Hudson Valley, Albany, the Bronx and Western New York, Generation Rescue, Autism One, SAFEMINDS, Schafer Autism Report, USAAAA, UNYFEAT, Upstate Autism Awareness, Project Link, GRASP and many other groups.
The timing is crucial. The competing bill, S7000B, written by insurance company lobbyists, Manatt, Phelps and Jones, and backed by Autism Speaks, will becoming up for a vote in the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow. It is far more important that we get A6888 to the floor of the Assembly for a vote than trying to stop S7000B.
The differences between the bills are stark. A6888 puts into law that you must get OT, PT and ST paid for. You must get ABA. You must be able to see a gastroenterologist, immunologists, endocrinologist, developmental pediatrician and other specialists. You must be able to get anesthesia. S7000B leaves that up to a four-agency committee headed by Dr. Richard Daines, the author of the last year’s “worst-vaccine-bill-ever” and this year’s forced meningococcal shots. S7000B offers no guarantee that anything will be paid for. And it will force treatments for autism to meet a much higher standard of efficacy that treatments for any other disease.That is enshrining discrimination into law. That may be good enough for Autism Speaks looking for a legislative “win” but it isn’t good enough for New York’s kids with autism who go without needed medical care.
It is crucial that you make phone calls today.
And forward this email to friends and family, and post it to your Face Book, My Space or other social network page.
Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the Assembly, 518- 455-3791
Joseph D. Morelle, Insurance Committee Chair, 518-455-5373,
Mark Schroeder, Autism Sub-Committee Chair, 518-455-4691
William A. Barclay, 518-455-5841
Jonathan L. Bing, 518-455-4794
See more phone numbers below
Marc W. Butler, 518-455-5393
Ann Margaret Carrozza, 518-455-5425
Joan K. Christensen, 518-455-5383
Steven Cymbrowitz, 518-455-5214
Adriano Espaillat, 518-455-5807
Gary D. Finch, 518-455-5878
Stephen Hawley, 518-455-5811
Janele Hyer-Spencer, 518-455-5716
Rhoda Jacobs, 518-455-5385
George S. Latimer, 518-455-4897
Charles D. Lavine, 518-455-5456
Tom McKevitt, 518-455-5341
Bob Oaks, 518-455-5655
Crystal D. Peoples Stokes, 518-455-5005
N. Nick Perry, 518-455-4166
Adam Clayton Powell IV, 518-455-4781
J. Gary Pretlow, 518-455-5291
Jose Rivera, 518-455-5414
Mike Spano , 518-455-3662