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Dear Senator _____________,
LB505 will come out of committee on Tuesday, April 1. I ask for your vote in support of this critical legislation when it comes to the floor.
The autism community and all three major insurers in Nebraska have agreed to the language of this bill. We understand the scope and limitations of LB 505 and we strongly support its passage.
We believe this legislation will affect almost 900 children with autism. Without your support of LB 505, insurance companies will continue to deny coverage for medically necessary autism treatments for these 900 children. Without your support of LB 505, many of these children will never speak. They will never have a meaningful relationship. They will never go to college or get a job. Without your support of LB 505 most of these children will require intensive special education and be dependent on a lifetime of state-funded adult disability support services.
Some legislators have noted that future changes to the ACA may include the addition of autism treatments. This may come and we will continue to lobby our federal legislators. But today we are asking you, the members of the Nebraska Legislature, to help those children who are within your power to help by passing LB 505.
If you’re concerned about the cost of enacting LB505, don’t. Thirty-four other states have enacted laws similar to LB 505. Actual claims data from states whom were among the first to enact such legislation show the average cost of coverage is 31 cents per member per month.
The cost of not providing appropriate treatment to individuals with autism has been estimated to be $3.2 million per child over their lifespan (Ganz, 2007). Much of this expense is associated with intensive special education, adult disability services and decreased productivity.
Failure to enact LB 505 is the high cost option.
Some legislators have expressed reservations about supporting LB 505 because it is a mandate and they are opposed to mandates. . Every law the legislature enacts is a mandate that our elected officials deem appropriate for the protection and betterment of Nebraska’s citizens.
LB 505 is a mandate that will afford access to medically necessary treatment for children with autism while saving the state millions of dollars per child in special education and adult disability supports. LB 505 is a win-win proposition for Nebraska.
The prevalence of autism as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now 1 in every 88 children. This represents a 1,000 fold increase in the past forty years. Autism is an epidemic and a public health crisis. Please pass LB 505.