This is a guest petition and not the
work of AutismNews.net.
The goal of this petition is to ensure that families with autistic dependents have access to adequate healthcare for treating autism. Health coverage for autism was not included in the Federal Health Care Plan (PPACA), and it was deferred to the States. However, the States have no authority over most self-insured employers and many families are losing their coverage and will not be able to provide care. In addition, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) with unlimited levels are very helpful to families with special needs, but these are now limited to $2,500. Many special needs families also fall victim to Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Under the AMT, medical bills are generally impossible to deduct effectively. Lack of adequate coverage and these tax repercussions will cause severe economic hardship on families with autism.
Sign an abbreviated form of this
Petition to Prevent economic catastrophe for families of Autistic persons caused by failure to mandate Autism care under PPACA
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare," "PPACA" or "ACA"), passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by President Obama is bringing sweeping change to regulations regarding our health care. The new law has profound intended and unintended consequences that we will all perceive differently. While it is intended that a vast majority of Americans will benefit from this legislation, it is also understood that some Americans will unfortunately be harmed by it. Autistic children fall into the latter category. Autistic children require very costly medical and behavioral intervention to have a reasonable quality of life. These costs can easily exceed $100,000 per year.
To his credit, President Obama has demonstrated a keen awareness of this issue in the past. While a Junior Senator in Illinois, he authored a bill that would mandate insurance coverage for Autistic children. The bill demonstrated his awareness of the issue. He never brought the bill to the Senate floor.
In the fall of 2008, and again in the fall of 2012, Barrack Obama posted a campaign promise on his website that he would mandate the medical and behavioral treatment of Autistic children and adults as part of Obamacare. He indeed now has this unprecedented power, by fiat, under the Act. He has mandated other coverage, including the provision of birth control, sterilization and abortifacients without the expense of a copay or deductible to those requesting these items/services. Regardless of one’s position on these types of service, it is apparent to analysts that a vast majority of the benefits under this mandate will be consumed by individuals who already use these products at an easily affordable cost. In other words, it is mainly free stuff for citizens that easily afford it. It is, however, a great expense to insurers since it is so widely used. As an example, a citizen making even $10 Million per year will now obtain these products solely at the expense of insurers. These types of expense are limiting the ability of insurers to provide elective coverage, such as Autism care.
Recently, about one month after his second inauguration, President Obama decided NOT TO HONOR his campaign promises to the Autistic community. He decided instead to kick the decision to the individual states, which have no authority over self-insured employers that operate over state lines. His motivation is unclear and confusing to the Autistic community. In light of additional costs associated with Obamacare, and the absence of a requirement to cover Autism, most of these companies have elected NOT to cover Autism. Even companies who did are dropping coverage now. The impact to Autistic families is instant, and devastating.
There is additional harm. Under Obamacare, the previously unlimited Flexible Spending Account (FSA) paycheck deferral has been limited at $2500/year. Under the unlimited FSA, often nicknamed the Special Needs Children Account, parents of Autistic children could at least set aside pre-tax dollars to care for their children’s special needs. This benefit is also eliminated under Obamacare.
A third strike is that many parents of Autistic children also fall victim to yet another tax limitation: the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Under the AMT, these costly medical bills are generally impossible to effectively claim as a tax deduction.
The net result, is that many Autistic families will now be faced with spending in excess of their gross annual pay on their child’s care, while still owing a full federal tax bill up to 10’s of thousands of dollars! The alternative is to neglect their child’s care, which is unthinkable.
As such, the signees hereby assert their right, under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, to petition the government for a redress of grievances. We specifically request the following:
- That the Executive Branch reconsider the decision to exclude mandates for the care of Autistic persons under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- That the Executive Branch inform the American public, and specifically the Autistic community of the reasons for excluding this critical care.
- That President Barrack Obama explain whether he did, or did not, understand these reasons prior to stating campaign promises to mandate this care.
- That the Executive Branch consider reinstating unlimited pre-tax FSA contributions for the care of special needs children.
- That the Executive Branch consider eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax for families with special needs children.
- That the Executive Branch consider other forms of tax relief for families with special needs children.
Sign an abbreviated form of this petition at:
An additional cutback not noted above: the Obama tax law increased taxes on families with members with medical needs. (You read that correctly.) For expenses incurred after January 1, 2013, families will not be able to deduct as much on their taxes. Prior to 2013, families could deduct medical expenses that exceeded 7.5% of the adjusted gross income, and that figure was big barrier. For 2013, the percentage increased to 10%, which increases the tax paid by those families with medical needs.
The Affordable Care Act, as implemented by the Obama
administration, requires States to create lists of Essential
Health Services. These services would be required
enhancement to health insurance policies issued in States
(but not necessarily to large self-funded employer
plans). To read a discussion of how these services
impact families in Illinois, see
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