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Kirsten Gillibrand's picture

Autism affects more American children than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. It’s a heartbreaking disease that approximately 29,400 children in every corner of New York suffer from.

Despite autism’s far reach, insurance companies still don’t provide comprehensive coverage for effective treatments, and parents are paying the price – up to $6,000 a month for their child’s treatment.

Last week in Washington, I unveiled a plan to provide quality autism treatment that’s affordable for families.

Please take a look.
Senator Gillibrand's Plan on Autism

First, I’m pursuing a mandate on insurance companies to ensure they provide affordable, quality treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders. We must make sure families can get the treatment their children need, through insurance coverage they can afford.

Second, I’m authoring new legislation to provide military families with affordable treatment. My new legislation, the Uniformed Services with Autism Heroes Act or the “USA Heroes Act”, will require TRICARE, the military health insurance program to cover the full cost of autism treatment. Currently, TRICARE caps autism coverage at $3,000 a month – about half the treatment a child needs for effective therapy. What’s worse, thousands of military families are forced to the bottom of long waiting lists for autism specialists each time they are relocated. Families that fight our wars and defend our freedoms should not face bankruptcy for trying to get the medical care their children need.

And as the third step in my plan, I’m calling for a portion of the $10 billion that was given to the NIH under the President’s Economic Recovery plan be dedicated toward autism research to give scientists and laboratories the resources they need to reach the next breakthrough.

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