Friday, September 4, 2009

One Small Step for Autism in Health Care Reform

I've been looking to see anyone address health care reform and how it will effect people with developmental disabilities. Haven't been able to find much until this morning, thanks to Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.

Thursday night, my husband, three daughters and I attended the health care town hall meeting in Bridgeport, CT, hosted by our Congressman Jim Himes (D.) We couldn't get a sitter, so we decided to bring the kids along rather than miss the event. After all, healthcare for children is of paramount importance.
The evening began with a few words from Congressman Himes about his desire to see all Americans with health care coverage and his honest appraisal of where he felt some of the faults in the system are today.
After two hours, I got my chance to ask a question. "Hi, I'm Kim Stagliano and I live here in Fairfield County. Last year my husband lost his job. We couldn't afford COBRA. We applied for private health insurance. We were turned down because our three daughters, who are seated behind me, have autism. Will you make certain that people with autism are not turned away from health care? Also, we are, I believe, the only nation that allows direct to consumer ads by pharmaceutical companies. They spend billions. Could we tap into that dollar pool to help pay for healthcare? Thank you."
Congressman Himes answered that just last night he'd spent the evening with families who have children on the spectrum and he was shocked to learn about the financial devastation that never seems to end. So "yes" was his answer, he would include autism in health care.

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