Welcome!

News Feed Item

Families Rally at Georgia State Capitol to Urge Insurance Committee to Vote on Ava's Law for Autism Insurance Reform

ATLANTA, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents, families and children who have autism rallied at the State Capitol today to urge the chairs of the Legislature's Insurance and Labor Committee to allow the committee to vote on Ava's Law for autism insurance reform, said Anna Bullard, the mother of Ava, for whom the proposed law is named.

Ava's Law (SB 191/HB 309), which is sponsored by Sen. John Albers and Rep. Ben Harbin, would require state-regulated health plans to cover medically necessary services for the evaluation, assessment, testing, screening, diagnosing and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. (A fact sheet on Ava's Law is here.) The bill has been in the committee, which is chaired in the Senate by Sen. Tim Golden and the House by Rep. Richard Smith, since 2009, but hasn't moved.

"Members of the Insurance and Labor Committee tell us they want to vote on Ava's Law, but they're not getting the chance," said Bullard. "We're here to urge Sen. Golden and Rep. Smith to let the committee vote. Sen. Golden and Rep. Smith: children are waiting."

Families of children who have autism and people who want children with autism to receive the treatment that can help them reach their full potential met at the Capitol to share their stories with legislators. Many brought pictures of their children to display on posters and created handmade signs reading, "CHILDREN ARE WAITING; LET THE INSURANCE COMMITTEE VOTE ON AVA'S LAW NOW."

Ava Bullard was diagnosed with autism at age two and denied coverage under the state employee health plan. Her mother was told Ava would never able to speak or be in a regular classroom. Ava did not feed herself, gesture, make eye contact or play with her sisters.

Anna searched for scientifically proven treatment and paid out of pocket for Ava to receive intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, resulting in significant improvement. Today, Ava is a fourth-grader in a general education classroom in Lyons, Ga., who no longer requires intensive treatment and loves playing with her sisters.

Georgia is one of only 16 states that do not require insurers to pay for autism therapy.

Families also wrote thank-you notes to Gov. Deal, who has recommended the state employee health plan cover treatment for autism. Claims data from states that have required similar coverage for several years indicates an average premium impact of 32 cents per member, per month – less than the cost of a postage stamp.

"On behalf of the families, interested stakeholders, legislators and health care providers who fought to make this legislation a reality, I plan to fight and make this bill the law in Georgia in 2014," Albers said. "I'm confident that Ava's Law is sound legislation that will go a long way toward providing the care needed for early behavioral and cognitive intervention. It is time for Ava's Law to be heard and voted upon. This is both morally right and fiscally conservative – in other words, a 'no-brainer.'"

Harbin said autism insurance reform makes ethical and economic sense for Georgia.

"With an average cost of 32 cents a month, autism insurance reform isn't a fiscal issue, it's a quality of life issue," Harbin, who sponsors the bill in the House, said. "Early intervention and Applied Behavior Analysis therapy are proven to help children with autism gain social and behavioral skills to reach their full potential and become contributing members of society."

"Thirty-four states and counting have passed autism insurance reform legislation," Judith Ursitti, vice president of governmental affairs for Autism Speaks, said. "Many self-funded companies are following suit. Yet Georgia families continue to struggle for access to meaningful autism coverage. It's time for the legislature to protect its most vulnerable citizens and move forward with passage of Ava's Law."

Lawmakers passed a resolution commending Ava "on her continued efforts toward the passage of Ava's Law in Georgia in order to benefit others with autism and recognize Feb. 4, 2014, as Ava's Law Day at the Capitol."

Ava addressed legislators, saying, "I'm grateful for my treatment. Please pass Ava's Law."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism now affects one in 88 children and one in 54 boys. According to Autism Speaks, it is the fastest-growing developmental disability, affecting 1.5 million Americans.

CONTACT 
Anna Bullard
(912) 293-5217
[email protected]

 

SOURCE Anna Bullard

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
"We formed Formation several years ago to really address the need for bring complete modernization and software-defined storage to the more classic private cloud marketplace," stated Mark Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Formation Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional storage and associated copy data management practices. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in Product and Solution at Tintri, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused storage to update hundreds of child VMs (different flavors) with updates from a master VM in minutes, saving hours or even days in each development cycle. He will also...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, will highlight the current challenges of these transformative technologies and share strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” will outline the latest trends and developm...
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
“RackN is a software company and we take how a hybrid infrastructure scenario, which consists of clouds, virtualization, traditional data center technologies - how to make them all work together seamlessly from an operational perspective,” stated Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...