Monday, August 31, 2009

Don't tell my sister that the health care system doesn't need fixing...

So my sister got one of those anti-Obama health care e-mail. See the text below.

"-----Original Message-----

Subject: Fw: Politics? Complicated?

Let all Americans get this straight.

Obama's health care plan will be
written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it,
passed by a Congress that hasn't read it,
signed by a president who smokes,
funded by a treasury chief who did not pay his taxes,
overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and
financed by a country that is nearly broke.

What could possibly go wrong?"

My sister wrote the following response to the friend who forwarded it and everyone else who received the e-mail. I have redacted the name of the employer to protect my brother-in-law's privacy. It is a major employer that provides seemingly excellent benefits.

"This is not just Obama's problem, let me explain. My husband has a brain tumor that was found on 6/23/09... to this date undiagnosed... The insurance company so far has said: we can't have a second opinion, we can't have the medication prescribed by the doctor and we can't have the tests that the doctor has ordered to achieve a diagnosis... and we have insurance through (redacted)... one of the largest companies in the US. We have serious problems in this country with our healthcare system... let you be the one to get sick and find out yourself!!!!!!

And if we do find out a diagnosis than he can never leave his job because than he would have a pre-determined condition.... Welcome to our country!!!! Land of the Free????? or Land of Big Business???"

I think she meant pre-existing condition, but you get the idea. I have railed against the insurance industry because of the lack of coverage provided for autism, but her family's situation is actually worse. The neurologist they were working with actually recommended the second opinion because she was out of her depth with what's going on with him, but the insurance company refused. And they said death panels were a fallacy... If you ask my sister, she would say they were being employed by her health insurance carrier.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My 1000th Post

Seriously, did I just make it to 1000? Wow... I have kept this blog going for 1000 posts. Amazing. Yes, I have a small readership of family, friends, and the occasional Amanda Peet foot fetishist. Yes, that and Michael Savage's sponsor lists attracts the most new views of this page. No matter. I started this because my bulk e-mail list asking about how Jimmy was progressing was getting bigger and bigger and I wanted to keep everyone informed. I have had good days, I have had bad days, and written about everything in between. I love my sons and, as hard as it can be, I love my life. I have made mistakes, I have regrets, but I have always tried my best and in the end I think I have done more right than wrong. And I have learned from it all.

So since it is Sunday and I don't have too much to say, I am going to kiss a sleeping Jimmy, tell Jacob it's time for bed, and get ready for post 1001 tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quote of the day on my Gmail...

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are."

--Kurt Cobain

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act

Regardless of personal history, I can honestly say Senator Edward Kennedy had a profound effect on my life because of the legislation he marshaled through the Senate. Jimmy's life will be better because of his work and, hopefully, the continued work of the next generation of Kennedys. From my heart, I thank him. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Ups and Downs of Autism

It looks like I finally have the facilitator for the EDCD waivers nailed down. They are coming out the house next week. I abandoned the local facilitators because they couldn't get things moving quickly enough and went with someone who is further away. Distance doesn't matter so much because they travel to you, but I have heard good things about them and not only do they answer their own phones, they return calls as well.

But, having this aid comes with a down side... I am a supervisor. For all intents and purposes, someone has a job inside my home and it is a new role for me to make sure it goes smoothly. It another thing for me to take on when I have already taken on too much. I guess I always assumed autism would get easier as Jimmy got older, but it has only gotten harder. He is bigger, stronger, but his progress isn't keeping pace. I have a sore shoulder. DH had a broken foot. We have both wondered how long we can continue with Jimmy here. That's what these waivers have been designed to do - to keep in the home instead of a residential placement. And that is my hope. He's my baby. He's 8. I can't imagine him anywhere else. I don't know how I would get out of bed in the morning. I know I am not alone in this struggle - have a child with autism is overwhelming and there are easily a million parents who do it - but I feel alone. I think many other moms must feel that way too.

I wish sleep would come, but I am too stressed for it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Someone else thinks Quest Diagnostics Sucks

And it is way worse than a billing problem... though if you search that, you will find a lot of complaints as well. Today, I am writing a letter to my doctor, Quest, and my insurance company, cc'ing local consumer reporter Liz Crenshaw to see if I can get this cleared up. Not what I want to do on a Sunday, but do I have a choice?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Still no response...

From Quest Diagnostic, either from the e-mail I sent through the website or to their media people. Blogs are considered new media, right? Actually, I thought about it and realized that this is the second time I have seen this bill. Yes folks, I sent them a letter about the then-double billing issue back in the spring. This is the third time now, and it was not processed for the same reason as the second bill - a duplicate billing. Someone from Atlanta did check this particular post, so perhaps the media people took a peek.

I am going to write another letter over the weekend and cc my doctor's office on it. Perhaps they might want to consider getting a new lab service. Big doesn't always mean best.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


So, my friend Lindsey turned me on to Anthropologie today. I think I am little untrendy for their fashion, but their home stuff transforms the mundane, like measuring cups, to objects d'art.

I'm in trouble...

Okay, you can tell it is my first week back to work...

Because of the lack of posting. My Quest Diagnostics rant notwithstanding, I haven't posted anything since my return to work. And I generally make it a policy of not posting about work - nothing gets you canned faster. At this point, I am in the child care circus as we move towards Labor Day. Jimmy's situation is fairly constant - Extended Care - but Jacob has been more piecemeal. A friend is taking Jacob to camp in the morning this week and his regular sitter is picking him up and entertaining him in the afternoon. Next week, another friend who has recently decided to stay at home is watching him before and after camp. She has a new baby, a fact that will probably crank Jacob's desire for a little sister to a whole new level. No, that's not happening, but it doesn't stop him. He will be in wonderful hands, which is what is most important to me.

That last week before school will be mishmash of the boys' cousin, maybe my mom, and another sitter to get us through the week. The fact that they close down the week after school ends and the week before school begins is really the only negative to the program. Jimmy knows school is coming up... he has been scripting the names of his classmates and even seems to be verbally processing that Miss H has moved on and her bestie Miss K is the new teacher. He just wants to go back to what, for him, is his regular life and routine. Summer is an enormous disruption to him on every level. I think the only thing he enjoys about summer is Signal Hill's pool being open.

I have to go and make sure that everyone has clothes, swimsuits and dry towels for tomorrow. My work here never ends.

Quest Diagnostics - Reputable business or not?

So, today I got another invoice from Quest Diagnostics for lab work I had completed just about a year ago. The amount of the bill is $137. My insurance paid this last September, with me paying my portion responsible of $2.58. Since that payment, they have submitted that same bill, with the same date and procedure codes to my insurance company, two more times. Now they have presented me with a bill for services that were paid last September. Are they shaking down my insurance company or are they shaking me down? I just talked to their billing department, which said they were too busy to discuss my account with me. No lie. Craziness.

Maybe the government could do a better job at this. At least, maybe they might want to consider regulating the billing practices of Quest Diagnostics. Stupidity.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scenes from my life

I went to Teacher Appreciation Day at Staples yesterday. Took the kids in to say hi to my colleagues after they ate breakfast in the minivan with DH. It was all going well until check out, when Jimmy has a full blown, on the floor tantrum with upkicks and wailing. Why you ask? He wanted another one of these.

Nah, nothing is ever easy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Check out my friend's new food blog...

Lindsey, a long time friend, has started a food blog called the Modern Day Epicurean. She has done a great job, so please check it out.

Health Care Reform E-mail

My dad sent this around so I thought I would cut and paste. Health care reform resonates with my family for a variety of reasons, but probably the most pressing is my brother-in-law. He is 36 and the father of three. He has four masses in his brain and one inside his spinal cord. Aetna paid for the MRI on the brain, doesn't want to pay for the one on the spine (even though it found a mass), and is refusing to authorize a doctor ordered full body MRI to locate additional masses or tumors, even though he had one removed from the lower part of his body ten years ago (making a stronger possibility.) I know that there are plenty of people against reform, but how does the current system make sense in a situation like my brother-in-law's? Still, I think this is a work in progress and we need to continue in substantive debate.

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage

1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.

Learn more and get details:

8 common myths about health insurance reform

1. Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

2. We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.

3. Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.

4. Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.

5. Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.

6. Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

7. You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

8. No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.

Learn more and get details:

8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now

1. Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that 12.6 million non-elderly adults – 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market – were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more:

2. Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job. Americans pay more than ever for health insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more:

3. Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care. Learn more:

4. Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care. The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural communities. Learn more:

5. Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third of the uninsured – 13 million people – are employees of firms with less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse. Learn more:

6. The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone. Learn more:

7. Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people - one in every three Americans under the age of 65 - were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families. Learn more:

8. The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance - projections suggest that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence of reform. Learn more:


Friday, August 14, 2009

NJ Can, Why Not Virginia?

N.J. expands coverage for autism, developmental disability therapies
by Susan K. Livio/Statehouse Bureau
Thursday August 13, 2009, 3:45 PM

NEW BRUNSWICK -- New Jersey became the 15th state today to enact a law requiring insurance companies to cover the screening and therapeutic treatment for children up to age 21 who are diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities.

The legislation overcame the opposition of business associations and insurance companies, who've predicted the measure will make health coverage unaffordable. Insurers have denied coverage for speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapies because they deemed it "educational," not medical in nature, or because the therapy would not restore a child's ability to speak if the child never could speak at all.

Click here to read the rest of the article...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You have to feel badly...

I signed up for one of those Organize for America slots for Health Care Reform. Yes, I have better things to do with my time, so I tried to call the office to speak to someone. Organize for America has my congressman's number wrong.

Organizing for America
Rachel --

Thank you for signing up to drop by Rep. Frank Wolf's local office in Herndon. We've received early reports of thousands of folks stopping by local offices, sharing their personal health care stories, and getting a welcome reception.

Please note that this is not an official scheduled meeting with your representative or your representative's staff. Rather, you will be part of a steady stream of supporters dropping by all day. So please stop in on the day you signed up for, drop off materials, share the reasons you support reform -- and most importantly, thank those representatives who are working hard for reform.

Rep. Frank Wolf
Herndon Office
13873 Park Center Road, Suite 130
Herndon, VA 20171 (Map)

Phone: (703) 790-5800
Please call ahead to let them know you will be visiting the office.

The prefix is turned around - it's 709. So when I called, I wound up speaking to some poor businessman, who by his own estimation, has taken thousands of phone calls for Congressman Wolf's office related to this e-mail. I let both the Herndon and DC offices of the Rep. Wolf know the error, as I have had no luck tracking down a phone number for Organize for America. Some poor man who is trying to get his work done is getting his day interrupted by Organize for America callers.

Oh, and I am for health care reform (my autism experience has proven to me the need for change), though I am trying to make it through this document for HB3200 to see if I can support everything its about. I am through blindly supporting things along party lines (but that is another post for another day.) I wonder if they have an abridged version, without the congressional jargon and legalese.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mommy Bloggers Get Free Stuff??? Why Don't I???

It's not like I miss the ethical implications cited in this article, but damn, I want some free stuff. How did I miss the boat on this one? Maybe PR and marketing companies aren't necessarily interested in selling to autistic kids.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Great Toy List for Kids With Special Needs

I love this list. Only two toys were specifically for autism, but Jimmy might get the gear one for Christmas. Worth checking out.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Oh So Sweet Treats

Yesterday, I stopped by the new cupcake store in Old Town, Oh So Sweet Treats. The cupcakes were good. I tend to like really moist cakes (my fave is Linda's Fudge Cake from the Cheesecake Factory, which practially drips), so the cake was a little on the dry side for me, but the frosting is amazing as was the selection of cupcakes on website. According to the article in the paper today, they rotate the selection in store. Hopefully this new business does well.

My Laptop Is Back...

Thanks to the wonderful MacHeaven. I may need a new logic board in the future, but the important thing was that I didn't need it today. They cleaned up the corrosion and returned my MacBook to me for $90. If you are in Northern Virginia, I highly recommend them. Happy, happy, happy!!!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks. My brother-in-law has some manner of tumor in his brain and vertebrate, though we know it isn't cancerous. My dad had a minor stroke, but is out of the hospital and doing extremely well. I was headed to Texas to see them both, but for a variety of reasons I didn't make it down. Not the least of which is Jimmy, who this week tried to go out the window because he could get it open. I am looking for something to keep the windows closed and praying we never have a fire. By the time I am done, every possible exit to this home will have a lock or some barrier against quick exit. I wish he had some sense of fear. Tonight, he tried to slide down the bannister. But back to not going to Texas... the window incident was really unnerving. It definitely played into my decision not to go this weekend.

My weekend is booked with the soccer, the UFC, and the WEC. Am I the only person in the world who loves the UFC, gymnastics, and figure skating? ;)

Jody Wagner Supports Autism Insurance Mandates...

At least according to her campaign, who were very nice in answering my questions. The answer in open more DD waiver slots was a little hesitant given the financial straights in Richmond, but I appreciate the answer. I talked to someone in Bill Bolling's campaign office (very nice guy, like TC or TJ or something) and they are supposed to get back to me with an answer.

Now if I could get a formal response from Creigh Deeds campaign!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Burger King - Wha???

A Burger King in Missouri kicked a six month old baby out for bare feet. Seriously...

When stuff like this happens, I feel like the collective IQ of the nation has fallen by two point. Dumb.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

National Night Out

I took the boys to the National Night Out up at the middle school. Ron Winder, the animal control officer, arranged to the arrival of some Star Wars characters... really well done Star Wars characters. Jacob was over the moon. Jimmy had a blast as well.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Bob McDonnell's Response

Bob McDonnell's campaign clocks in with the first response.

Thank you for contacting the McDonnell campaign. We very much appreciate you taking the time to get in touch with us.

Bob McDonnell understands the hardships many families across the Commonwealth face as they deal with the daily struggles of raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

As Governor, Bob McDonnell will be committed to working with the autistic community to address their concerns and find a solution. The solution must take into consideration affordability for families and small businesses, quality care and flexibility on offering specialized, non-medical services.

Bob McDonnell is interested in looking at ideas such as establishing a tuition assistance grant program for those parents seeking specialized care for their autistic children.

As a legislator, Bob McDonnell voted yes on several pieces of legislation pertaining to autism, including requiring health insurance to provide coverage for biologically based mental illnesses which includes autism.

Thank you again for your email. Please do not hesitate to contact us again with any further questions or concerns.

What do you think? I have a lot of concerns about this response, but I will reserve dissecting it just yet as I have sent a follow up e-mail with more specific questions. When I get that back, I will start to form a more solid opinion.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine Contains What????

I will start by saying that I am not a big Jenny McCarthy devotee, not a big vaccine believer... I think the onset of Jimmy's autism was marked by his ear infections and his frequent prescription of antibiotics, if anything. Though Jimmy wasn't diagnosed when Jacob's immunization schedule began, I knew that more than likely he was autistic and had read pretty extensively on vaccines. Since I knew Thimerosol had been removed from the vaccines for the most part and had other thoughts regarding Jimmy's onset, I opted to vaccinate. Jacob is a healthy five year old child. I have no regrets about making that decision as a parent.

I am appalled, given the potential severity of an outbreak in the schools, that a vaccine was developed for this H1N1 outbreak with Thimerosol. I have sworn up, down, and sideways that I would make sure both boys got their H1N1 vaccinations. They always get their regular flu shots, as do I (a history of respiratory infections puts me in a high risk category.) But I now have a little fear. From the CBS interview, previewed below, I am honestly wondering if Kathleen Sebelius' head in merely in the sand or if it shoved firmly up her... you get the idea:

Couric: Thimerosol, a preservative which was taken out of childhood vaccines a while ago, because there was fear it could be linked to autism, is being used in some batches of the H1N1 vaccine. Are you concerned that will keep some parents from having their children vaccinated?

Sebelius: Well, we want to make it clear that this is a voluntary vaccination program. But study after study, scientist after scientist, has determined that there really is no safety risk with thimerosol. There is concern about parents of why autism rates are rising. And, as you know, we've got some special NIH studies, thanks to the president, focused on just what is going on.

Unless there is a better option, I think you will see a large number of autistic children that are sickened by the flu outbreak out of fear of this vaccine. Was adding Thimerosol really necessary?

The Deeds e-mail...

A little bit longer... I will let you know when I get answers from either candidate or their campaigns.

Mr. Abbey-

I am the mother of an autistic child and a sometimes blogger. I met your candidate several months ago and have yet to fully embrace him (though my husband made a donation to the campaign) completely based on the way he answered my question about autism insurance mandates. I supported and got our local delegate to cosponsor HB1588, which never made it out of the committee. When I asked him about insurance mandates, Mr. Deeds said the "market would adjust," so there was no need for mandates. After reflection, I came to the conclusion that his statement reflected the views of the lobbyists who successfully killed both the house and Senate versions of this year's legislation. I gave my vote to Brian Moran in the primary because I found his stance on the issue to be more thoughtful and had more hope for a governor that would meet the needs of my child and family, families that routinely pay thousands of dollars in uncovered medical expenses for therapeutic treatment for kids.

Today, I e-mailed Phil Cox and asked him the following question. I think Mr. Deeds should answer these questions as well. Though I have long voted Democratic, I cannot in good conscience vote for a candidate that has not given thoughtful consideration to policy for a disorder that affects in 1 in a 150 children in this country. My Twitter exchanges with Mr. Deeds show me that he is engaged and responsive and I appreciate his accessibility, but I think he really needs to look at his answer to my question. He is asking families to wait for insurance companies to do the right thing. That doesn't happen in the real world - they are beholden to their shareholders and the bottom line. They are perfectly content to leave our children untreated medically and therapeutically, limiting their futures, and shifting the burden for their care to the state as adults who require intensive services and institutionalized care.

When will Mr. Deeds share his position on autism in Virginia, particularly how it pertains to needed insurance mandates to help families have medical and therapuetic treatments covered (see HB 1588, sponsored by Bob Marshall), special education funding from Richmond, and the growing need for Medicaid waiver services? 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism. With early intervention, education and proper medical treatment, many of these children can grow into tax paying, productive adults. With help to families, it will reduce the 80-85% divorce rate in couples raising autistic children. I have called, blogged, and even Tweeted, but now with November coming, I must have an answer as I have to vote on this very important issue to be a voice for the future of Virginia and the future of my children. I await your response and appreciate your time.

I could be completely wrong about this...

...But all the press I read leads me to believe that military families with autism have an easier time getting things through Congress than the rest of us. I could be wrong, but I even remember seeing that they get ABA through their health insurance. Granted, they get the bonus of portable IEPs and new schools every two years, at least. I am not sure that I would ever want that.

My e-mail to Phil Cox, Bob McDonnell's campaign manager...

Mr. Cox -
When will Mr. McDonnell share his position on autism in Virginia, particularly how it pertains to needed insurance mandates to help families have medical and therapuetic treatments covered (see HB 1588, sponsored by Bob Marshall), special education funding from Richmond, and the growing need for Medicaid waiver services? 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism. With early intervention, education and proper medical treatment, many of these children can grow into tax paying, productive adults. With help to families, it will reduce the 80-85% divorce rate in couples raising autistic children. I have called, blogged, and even Tweeted, but now with November coming, I must have an answer as I have to vote on this very important issue to be a voice for the future of Virginia and the future of my children. I await your response and appreciate your time.


Now to work on my e-mail to the Deeds camp...