OK, I wasn’t planning on posting again until the blog redesign is done (which should be in the next day or two) and we can issue forth a whole exciting deluge of revelations and great excitement. But this was too good to not post.
While I think the whole bailout bonanza in Congress is too depressing for words (someone likened it to choosing between a steaming pile of dung and a pack of ravenous, rabid, pissed off tigers), there’s something worth celebrating in it regardless.
In among the pork about tax breaks for manufacturers of Legolas arrow shafts and people who get drunk off rum from Puerto Rico (actual details may vary slightly from my recollection), somebody put in something worth grabbing some of that rum over.
The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008 was amended to the bailout package and is now law. I nearly wet myself when I read that.
From the Chicago Tribune article:
The law doesn’t require health insurers to cover mental health care. But if they do, they’ll have to treat psychological and addictive disorders just as they do other medical conditions.
What does that mean for us? Since health insurers have been dodging autism coverage by categorizing it as behavioral/mental health/etc., then deciding how best to not cover it from there, and leaving us to drown in debt, that scam appears to be over.
We’ll be sorting through the actual, real-life implications of this bill for a while, but what a major victory it is for millions of Americans that this is now law.
As if that wasn’t good enough news, the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) (best link I could find on short notice) was signed into law a few days ago. Spelled out, all those letters mean Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (God help us if they have to amend it again). This restores much of the power of the original ADA laws that were gutted over time by the Supreme Court, which amounted to permitting large amounts of “up yourses” toward people who only wanted to be able to work and contribute to society and live with some dignity. The implications of this are far-reaching and will also take a lot of time to fully understand.
So now when I think of J-Man growing up and becoming an adult – assuming the ADAAA isn’t gutted again at some point – if he still faces a lot of challenges then, he will still have opportunities for work and making the world a better place that he might not have had without these protections. Our kids may be young and we may live solely in the moment, but it’s never too early to fight for their long-term future.
At least some sliver of government works. They may be suck-tastic much of the time, but they also brought us things like IDEA along with ADA and Mental Health Parity that literally make an unfathomable difference in our children’s lives.
OK. Back to working on the revolution.