Individuals diagnosed with autism “fall off a cliff” regarding covered therapy once they hit age caps that typically are set to 21 (Andrews, 2014). Federal organizations and some state mandates require insurers, Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and Medicaid to cover autism therapies until the age of 21. Six states do not have age caps, which include New York, California, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Wisconsin, and Indiana (Andrews, 2014). It is argued that setting age caps on mental health services is setting a quantitative limit, such as dollar caps on benefits (Andrews, 2014). The federal mental health parity law restricts insurers from imposing quantitative or qualitative; therefore, the age caps could be overturned on appeal (Andrews, 2014).
In 1990, the National Children’s Study (NCS) was formulated than authorized by the Children’s Health Act of 2000. It was inspired by the Framingham Heart Study, which was a prospective, longitudinal birth-cohort analysis. The NCS intended to be a 21-year prospective longitudinal study of 100,000 children to predict and develop strategies to combat asthma, autism, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, and birth defects (Gillespie, 2014; National Institutes of Health [NIH], n.d.). The study design was focused on environmental exposures during the prenatal period through childhood, with the collection of genetic and epigenetic information (NIH, n.d.). In 2007, the Vanguard Study launched, which was a pilot study for the NCS, enrolling 5,000 children in 40 target locations (Gillespie, 2014; NIH, n.d.). The Vanguard Study suffered from a disorganized sampling strategy, and ineffective networking (Gillespie, 2014). Further, federal support waned as $30 million per year was cut from the initial congressional appropriations grants (Gillespie, 2014). Due to a problematic study design, the NCS was scrapped, which potentially wasted fifteen years of research and 1.3 billion dollars (Schmidt, 2015).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has constructed a page titled “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” (CDC, n.d.). They open their discussion by defining autism, which is framed as a simple neurologically diverse condition found in 1 in 68 children without any mention of possible treatment or recovery. The CDC then separates their discussion into two categories with presumably supportive peer-reviewed science. Let’s look at their research closely.
During a campaign speech in Florida, Hillary Clinton spoke of remedying the gap in autism treatment accessibility through private health insurance plans. Mrs. Clinton highlighted the need for state-run health insurance exchanges to cover autism treatment plans, which are typically unaffordable (Leary, 2016).
There are several issues and challenges that make up the development of health policy and law. Due to the wide-reaching effects of health care policy, it is important to balance public health with individual rights (Teitelbaum, & Wilensky, 2013, p. 4). this discussion will focus on several directed reading requirement, which is primarily separated by two textbooks, which include Essentials of Health Policy and Law and Understanding Health Policy.
A new report from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) describes 1 in 45 children in the United States has autism. In 2014, the CDC stated that 1 in 68 children have autism. In 2012, the CDC stated that 1 in 88 children have autism (Jaslow, 2014). Dr. Coleen Boyle, the director of the CDC stated in 2014, "The number of children diagnosed with autism continues to rise" (Jaslow, 2014).