Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Much Has Changed...

I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts the past few weeks. I've had a lot going on, including surgery, and I'm only now getting back to life as normal. Now, without further ado, allow me to update you on what's been going on these passed few weeks.

Update #1 - SB 138 has been amended and no longer poses a threat to HB 69 (occurred 2/14). However...

Update #2 - HB 69 has been benched and will no longer be considered for recommendation this legislative session. During an autism town hall meeting held at the Capitol on 2/15, the decision was made to withdraw HB 69 and substitute it with a new bill: HB 272.

Update #3 - HB 272, a pilot program which would cover about 700 children with autism (ages 2-6), is currently having difficulty getting passed in the House. It has now been substituted three times. The most current status regarding HB 272 can be found Here.

Update #4 - Official Statement regarding our stance on HB 272:

"Dear Utah Autism Advocate:        

THANK YOU so much for all of your hard work over the last year to pass autism insurance reform.

The current status of the Utah Autism Insurance Reform legislation endorsed by Autism Speaks, HB 69, is that the bill is being held in the House Rules Committee. We have been informed that HB 69 will not be released from this committee for the duration of the session.

As such, there are no further plans to generate calls, emails or Capitol visits in support of HB 69.

There has been an alternate solution drafted by Representative Menlove - also known as HB 272.  Autism Speaks and the Utah Autism Coalition have not taken a position on this bill. If you have opinions about this bill please share those with your legislators.

Thank you again for all of your efforts this year!"

Update #5 -The UAC is hosting an Autism Insurance Seminar: Options for Coverage in a Non-Mandated State. It will be held this Thursday, March 8th from 6pm - 8:30pm in downtown Salt Lake. For more details, click This Link Here.

Here is a wonderful post by Christine Passey and her perspective regarding HB 272. Link Found Here

And now that you've been updated, here's what you can do to help Utah get a leg up regarding autism insurance coverage. There are two caucus meetings coming up next week, one for Democrats and one for Republicans. Your mission is 1- ATTEND THE MEETINGS! and 2- BECOME A DELEGATE! Now you're probably wondering, "Become a delegate? Why? What is that exactly?"  These questions have been answered by our own Christine Passey in This Post Here.

It may seem like we have been defeated, but we cannot give up! Every year, we continue making headway. We need to keep doing everything and anything we can to bring more awareness and understanding to autism. Make sure you also keep up with us via our Facebook Page for any meetings and upcoming events you can participate in!