Happy Birthday, Healthcare Reform!

23 03 2011

My amazing boy who has a “pre-existing condition”– autism– has insurance thanks to the hard work, and courage of good people like John Boccieri. I will always be thankful to him, his staff and his family for all they had to put up with because of people who didn’t understand the benefit of passing this into law.  Thank you!

This means more to me then you’ll ever know…





Open Letter to Asbury University

4 11 2010

Asbury University (formerly Asbury College) is playing Fox News in the campus gym and cafeteria. When did Asbury start teaching propaganda instead of truth? When did it lose its compassion?

Shortly after college I married a fellow Asburian who declared his homosexuality a year later. He was told by an Asbury faculty member that if he got married he would be “cured” of his homosexuality. I was the victim of this declaration and yet I was able to forgive the College for its naiveté.  

Now, the views espoused are attacks against my son (who is the child of my straight second husband). And that I cannot forgive so easily.

My son is on the autism spectrum. The Republican Party and its mouthpiece, Fox News, have mocked those with autism specifically and those with pre-existing conditions more generally. Leaders in the Republican Party think my son is a wrecked car with “autism”.  I cannot—and will not—support a political party who values money over people.  I cannot—and will not—support an institution that condones ridiculing “the least of these”.

As a result of Asbury’s shift from a conservative Christian institution to an extension of the political party whose leaders call my son—who is a gift from God, perfect and created in God’s own image—unworthy of equality;  I am changing my Will so that it no longer includes your institution.

The Jesus I know doesn’t think little kids with pre-existing conditions should be discriminated against in favor of profits. The Jesus I know doesn’t hate or ridicule people who disagree with him. The Jesus I know teaches compassion and charity.

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are not much like your Christ.” –Gandhi

Please call Asbury and tell them to turn off Fox. 1-859-858-3511 (X 2105 alumni office)





No Regrets

3 10 2010

Yesterday I went to a house party for Congressman John Boccieri. I like him. He has done a lot of good and is willing to keep on working for us– in spite of threats and lies told by his opponent… headaches caused by the republican party who refuse to do anything constructive… the Senate who can’t even discuss bills passed by the House… It must be a horribly frustrating job! I certainly wouldn’t want to do it!!

Congressman Boccieri talked about some of the challenges, and a lot of the good things he’s been able to do.  If you’ve read this blog you know that the passage of healthcare reform directly affected my family and for his vote I will always be thankful.

As he wrapped up and opened to questions, Congressman Boccieri said that he has no regrets. He is proud of all the bills he has voted for– or against and that he is working hard to continue working for Ohio’s 16th District.  He challenged us to have no regrets… should have worked harder, talked to more neighbors, donated more… when election night comes along.

I’m going to take him up on that challenge. I will work harder than I have been, re-examine our budget to see what more we can donate, and fight the good fight to keep this good man in office. Will you join me?





What the GOP thinks about Autism

24 09 2010

The Republicans think my son is a wrecked car with “autism”

Mike Huckabee:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoCnxnStMpU

Sharron Angle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M46hn8qtJI

Why in the world would any family or friend (teacher, doctor, therapist) of a child with autism vote for the Tea- GOP?!





Sharron Angle, Nevada Tea Party, Mocks Autism

23 09 2010

Here is the link to write Ms. Angle a little note: 

http://sharronangle.com/contact

Here is the link to contribute to Harry Reid:

https://secure.harryreid.com/ee/index.php/contribute

This woman has picked a fight with the wrong people… let’s let her know!





Where’s The Parade?

23 09 2010

Today it became illegal for children with developmental disabilities to be discriminated against by health insurance companies– Yes! Mr. Biden! This IS a big F*#@%ing deal!!

But, where is the parade? Families celebrate silently and politicians who voted for it shy away from the topic unless they are defending their vote… the President has taken 6 months to start talking about it in earnest and republicans are lying about it. 

Insurance companies are having tantrums and refusing to play– that gets the attention of the media. Republicans are proclaiming they will repeal healthcare reform– that gets the attention of the media.

But where are the families who benefit from this law? Why are newspapers burying the story on page 5 when full page covers were given to protests prior to passage? Why are politicians campaign websites missing the healthcare link under “issues”?  The silence is deafening.

MY SON HAS INSURANCE TODAY BECAUSE OF HEALTHCARE REFORM!! Children with developmental disabilities– autism, down syndrome ( Sarah, that includes your son!)– can no longer be discriminated against! Short of a cure for autism, or truely effective treatment,  the end to healthcare discrimination is the biggest thing that can be done for children with autism (Autism Speaks)! So– where’s the parade?

I call upon those who voted for this law (Sherrod Brown and John Boccieri– MY  SON’S representatives)– for families who spent years fighting for this day– for teachers, doctors,therapists and advocates of children with developmental disabilities– for the media who championed this law– CELEBRATE!   This IS a Big F*#@%ing Deal!!





A Little Bit of Normalcy

23 09 2010

Autism is no longer an uninsurable pre-existing condition

For well over a year we fought for the opportunity to pay for insurance for our son who has, until this month– been denied on the basis of his “pre-existing condition”. Jay has autism. He’s healthy and happy. And now… he has insurance!

I am thankful to so many who had a part in making this happen… to family and friends… to politicians and insurance companies who gave me lip service and made me angry… but, it really came down to our Congressman– John Boccieri, who took a big political chance… whose family endured threats and as recently as last week was on the front page of the NY Times with a man’s finger in his face… He voted for healthcare reform.

I don’t believe that when President Obama signed HCR he had any thought of the children with autism who were denied this often taken for granted thing– but, his signature gave my son a little piece of normalcy. For that I will always be thankful.

The Republicans have sworn to work for the repeal of HCR… This would be a huge step backwards… and, we can not allow it to happen.  Vote. Stand up for those who, like Congressman Boccieri, have stood up for our kids!

Tonight, my son goes to bed with insurance. And, I can sleep knowing that what I did mattered.





New Healthcare Law: GREAT for autism

2 04 2010

April is Autism Awareness Month and a time to talk about issues that Americans with autism and their families must face. Awkward social and language skills, sensory disintegration, misunderstandings perpetuated by movies like “Rainman,” parents’ guilt for wanting a cure that would change our children and the stigma of “imperfection” is only part of it– insurance companies discriminate against those with autism in a real and deliberate way.

Healthcare reform is personal for our family because our son has autism.

The Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act benefits Americans with autism not only by putting an end to “pre-existing conditions” and, in-effect, removing the term from our language but also provides for behavioral health treatments that are proven to have significant benefits for those with autism.

According to Autism Speaks, “…behavioral health treatment is included as part of the essential health benefits package required in certain health plans. Behavioral health treatments were added to ensure that people with autism are provided with insurance coverage of medically necessary, evidence-based behavioral treatments, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. The reconciliation bill will require the following health plans to offer at least the essential benefits package: (1) plans offered by state-based exchanges, through which individuals and small businesses can purchase coverage; and (2) plans offered in the individual and small group markets outside the exchange.”

While some say that this law doesn’t go far enough, it goes farther than any law has gone before in ending healthcare discrimination. This benefits not only children with autism but, middle aged men with heart conditions and grandmothers with diabetes.

Over the course of the past few weeks there have been significant threats made against our elected representatives because of their support of healthcare reform. These reprehensible threats have not been limited to adults who are public figures– their children have been threatened! Congressman Boccieri’s family is at risk because he stood up for our children– for the 1 in 70 boys born today with autism who cannot get healthcare insurance.

Now it’s our turn, the millions who benefit from John Boccieri’s personal and political sacrifices, to proudly stand with him because he believes, as we do, that pro-life doesn’t end at birth.