From February, 2009

Insurance Coverage for Autism Treatments Sought

Patient advocates want the state to more quickly resolve parents’ complaints over payments for behavioral therapy. By Lisa Girion, LA TimesFebruary 25, 2009 Patient advocates called on state regulators Tuesday to force health insurers to cover certain autism treatments. Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica sent a letter to Cindy Ehnes, executive director of the state Department of Managed Health Care, and her boss, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, expressing concern about delays in resolving coverage complaints from parents of autistic children. The parents say insurers are refusing to cover needed behavioral therapy for their children. But, the parents say, when they took…

California Legislature Approves Budget Bill

By JUDY LIN, Associated Press Writer SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Legislature passed a long-awaited budget early Thursday after an epic battle that involved several all-night sessions, sending the governor a bill that raises taxes and cuts spending to help close a $42 billion deficit. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, praised the bill, passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and Assembly. He came out of his office after the budget vote and disconnected a large deficit clock counting the number of days — 106 as of Thursday — that the Legislature had failed to act since he declared a special session…

California Parents and Providers – Urge Lawmakers to Pass Budget

Over the past few days, the CA senate has been trying to vote on the CA budget. While there is language in the budget that would minimize the cuts to our funding sources such as the Regional Centers, unfortunately, there seems to be a stall on the vote and the Senate is falling short by just one vote. We have been advised that the situation will become very detrimental if this budget is not signed. Therefore, we have been asked to initiate a letter writing campaign to the Republican senators This has to happen today as the Senate is meeting…

Vaccine Court Ruling Won’t End Autism Debate

By DAN CHILDSABC News Medical Unit Some autism advocacy groups say that despite a ruling that appears to exonerate MMR vaccines as the cause of autism in children, they will continue to push to raise awareness that such a link may exist. Autism advocacy groups that support the idea of a link between vaccines and the development of autism said a ruling handed down Thursday by a special court was devastating — but that it will not sway them from their cause. In the ruling, three special masters of the U.S. Court of Claims note that the evidence presented in…

ASA Statement on Cedillo, Hazelhurst, Snyder v. Secretary of Health and Human Services

Today the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program/Court ruled that the combination of the MMR vaccine and thimerosal in other vaccines did not cause or contribute to the cause of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism in the cases of Cedillo, Hazelhurst, Snyder v. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Though the litigation on which vaccines may have caused autism in some children varies, this ruling only affects those who claim the interaction of the MMR vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines cause autism. There are still 5,000 cases still to be decided, and many unanswered questions for the thousands of families affected by…

U.S. Vaccine Court Denies Family’s Autism Case

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A special U.S. court ruled against three families on Thursday who claimed vaccines caused their children’s autism. The Vaccine Court Omnibus Autism Proceeding ruled against the parents of Michelle Cedillo, Colten Snyder and William Yates Hazlehurst, who had claimed that a measles, mumps and rubella vaccines had combined with other vaccine ingredients to damage the three children. “I conclude that the petitioners have not demonstrated that they are entitled to an award on Michelle’s behalf,” Special Master George Hastings, a former tax claims expert at the Department of Justice, wrote…

Autism Coverage Bill Fails

Senate’s Move, House Panel’s Inaction Anger Advocates By Fredrick Kunkle Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, February 12, 2009; Page B07 RICHMOND, Feb. 11 — The Senate has effectively killed a bill that would have required insurers to cover autistic children, pleasing business lobbies that argued against new mandates but enraging parents who vowed revenge at the polls. The fight over mandating autism coverage has gathered intensity nationwide and resonated especially strongly in Loudoun County and other fast-growing areas of Northern Virginia with high numbers of children. Anger about the bill’s defeat late Tuesday was magnified by what appeared to be…

Scientific Review of the Immunization Action Coalitions Guidelines to Vaccination Policies

The issue of whether vaccines are related to autism in any manner remains a controversial and divisive one. The tremendous financial and public health ramifications of the issue render it difficult to imagine that individuals from any community, be it scientific, pharmaceutical, governmental, or parental, can remain unbiased while addressing it. The following article, which is slated to be published soon, is by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, one of the most active and controversial players in the debate, and consists of a response to the document entitled “Clear Answers and Smart Advice About Your Baby’s Shots” by Dr. Ari Brown, published…

Shedding Light on Autism

presented by SIDNEY MacDONALD BAKER, MD May 15-17, 2009Big Sur, California Spend a weekend at Esalen with Dr. Baker, Former Director of the Gesell Institute of Human Development, co-founder of DefeatAutism Now! and co-author of Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments, and practicing physician. Treating the Unique Child: Private Options, Public Policy and the Autism Spectrum will be an intelligent conversation leading to the ultimate question faced by parents, teachers, physicians, therapists: “Have we done everything we can for this child? ” This is a question Dr. Baker learned to ask in Nepal in 1959 when he apprenticed with Dr. Edgar Miller…