In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. As many posts have discussed, the challenges are especially great for military families.
A bipartisan group of 40 House lawmakers has asked the Defense Department to delay plans to cut Tricare autism therapy payments by up to 15 percent.
"We are writing to express our continued concerns regarding the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) proposal to reduce Tricare reimbursement rates in 2016 for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to beneficiaries diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)," the letter sent March 9 says. "We remain concerned that the new rates could result in a substantive reduction in access to crucial ABA services for the more than 26,000 military children with ASD."
The letter, sent to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, was signed by 21 Republicans and 19 Democrats. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey; Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pennsylvania; Rep. John Larson, D-Connecticut; and Rep. Thomas Rooney, R-Florida, are the letter's original co-signers. Smith and Doyle co-chair the Congressional Autism Caucus, while Larson and Thomas have long worked on Tricare and ABA therapy coverage issues in the House.