Oct 2012, Politics and Autism – what is the connection.

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In one month, Americans will go to the polls and elect a president, congress, senate and many state legislators.
Let me give my take how Autism is all about politics.
For instance, the president hires the health secretary which is in charge of all of federal health agencies that will or will not address autism research, services and policy. Those include the important ones of NIH, CDC, HRSA and CMS.
Now, in the interest of fairness – I am a little bias and very grateful towards Obama for many reasons.
1. How many people can say they have been invited to the White House.
2. Out of countless submissions, I have been selected 1 of only 15 public members for the federal advisory autism committee, IACC. Very grateful again.
3. How many people can advocate in federal health agencies and actually get the funding. Awesome.
So, I would probably give the president a B+ grade, while I am grateful, the need for more is big from research of environment from NIH/CDC to better services and resources from HRSA agency, not to mention the lack and delayed minority diagnoses and CMS hardly funding any autism therapies. Plus, the new health care law covers or funds zero autism therapy including the ones recommended by their own federal agencies.
I would give Romney D+ because I could only find one youtube vidoe whereby an autistic child asks him his take and he only said we will do research and did not really give any specifics. I am not sure if they have an specific plan and when I called their campaign, they said the same-thing. If he wins, maybe he can learn or at least appoint good experts. Here is the youtube link;


Now, lets dissect Minnesota legislators and elected officials,
1st, Gov Dayton has done almost nothing for autism in Minnesota, nor has his health administration. In fact, we can’t even get them to do what they are funded for in their child and maternal health dept, under children with special health care needs which autism falls under. So, he gets F-.
The House and Senate leaders get A+, because they did the following;
1st. They funded a Somali autism study for $200,000 to start this year.
2nd, They asked DHS to finally come up with specific autism benefits under their HCBS waiver that they submit to CMS.
3rd, They wrote and passed the Minn state autism task force which I have been appointed by Speaker Zellers. Grateful as well.
4th, There is hardly any drama if you call and ask for any autism questions or have concerns, what you see is usually what you get. Awesome.
5th, They have allowed more people to testify on behalf of autism in their health and human services committees in the house.
6th, the 8 congress and 2 U.S Senators we have, of the ones up for re-election, Sen Amy K is C grade, Rep Kline A-, Rep Peterson A-, Rep Walz A-, Rep Bachmann A- and Rep Ellison B-.
They are mostly OK, give or take depending what you ask them to do. They did all support the passing of CAA in congress last year.

I know Minn is a wild card and one never knows who will win. I do hope that we vote based on issues and who ever gets elected is asked for to deliver their campaign promises and if they don’t we remember it, the next time they come back for the same job of representing us.

Democracy in this country is only as good as our elected officials and how well they represent their constituents issues.

Thanks and please remember to VOTE on Nov 6th, 2012.

Idil – Autism mom.

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