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Garcia Wilburn opposed proposed state cuts to ABA therapy for kids with autism

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Last week, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced intentions to cut Medicaid reimbursement rates for applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy, which helps children and young adults with autism. Since 2016, ABA therapy has been covered under Indiana's Medicaid program. In 2022, Indiana Medicaid programs provided 6,200 children and young adults with ABA therapy each month.  

“As a director of therapy who spent two years working in an autism center, I am deeply disappointed in this FSSA proposal to cut families' ability to provide this sound and proven therapy for their children with autism. Decades have shown that ABA therapy is effective in improving quality of life for people with autism. Anything but sufficient reimbursement is harmful.

“By comparison, there are many prescription drugs that Indiana's Medicaid program covers with a $3 copay. ABA therapy is medicine, too, and should be covered just like prescription drugs for Hoosier kids on Medicaid. ABA therapy sets autistic kids up for success for life – this is one reason why enrollees in this program have grown since its 2016 inception. I cannot stress enough that it would be inhumane to deny someone who needs ABA therapy this treatment. This policy change ultimately would violate ethical practices of healthcare, and I urge FSSA to revisit this proposal and the State Budget Committee to oppose it in its current form.”

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