Election advice for autism advocates

This is really important information for anyone (like me) who has fought for health insurance companies to provide broader coverage for autism treatment. This note is written by three moms who have done more than anyone I know to further this cause — they are leaders and if we ever get full insurance coverage for speech therapy, occupational therapy, floor time and behavioral therapy for autism in California, we will owe this victory to them!  (Even if you aren’t involved in autism advocacy you should care about this — better treatment from insurance companies will save our schools from becoming the payers of last resort for autism treatment, and that benefits every student!)  In short, if Karen, Kristin and Feda say to vote Dave Jones for California Insurance Commissioner — do it!

 Dear Autism Advocate — The issue of medical insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders by private health plans is of vital importance to many individuals and families throughout California.  Although most attention and pending litigation has focused primarily on the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), the California Department of Insurance (CDI) is responsible for enforcing many of the insurance-related laws of the state. The CDI, which is the largest consumer protection agency in the state, is directed by the Insurance Commissioner.  The Commissioner oversees more than 1,200 positions, a $200 million budget and regulates almost one-tenth of the California economy.  Therefore, the position of Insurance Commissioner is of vital importance in the ongoing battle to ensure that private health plans provide appropriate medical coverage for individuals with ASD. On November 2 2010, Californians will be electing either Dave Jones or Mike Villines to this office.  Recently several parent-advocates discussed the issue of autism medical coverage with Assembly Member Dave Jones.  They summarized their meeting as follows:

“We met with Dave Jones this week. He was very intelligent and demonstrated that he was a quick learner.  He was sympathetic and interested in the insurance issues facing the autism community.  He was open to the idea of supporting an autism specific insurance mandate and wanted more information. He wants to make insurance run more smoothly for our population. He is committed to making lives better for our kids with autism and making insurance work for them.  We were impressed that he has not accepted any money from the insurance companies.  His opponent (Mike Villines) in contrast, has.   If you are interested in more information, you can visit his website at http://www.davejones2010.com/

Please forward widely to other interested individuals and groups. 

Respectfully submitted by Dr. Karen Fessel, Kristin Jacobson, and Feda Almaliti

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