Join CafeMom Today! Autism Spectrum Disorder: Treatments: Attn: Private Insurers: Autism not ‘rare’ disease, should be taken seriously

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Attn: Private Insurers: Autism not ‘rare’ disease, should be taken seriously

Your Turn: Autism not ‘rare’ disease, should be taken seriously

In Monday’s Post endorsement of Jill Thompson (no surprise there), there was an incredibly startling statement that I feel needs to be brought into the spotlight. The endorsement stated that “forcing private health insurers to provide coverage of rare conditions such as autism and diabetes would drive up the price of insurance.” We all know The Post Editorial Board leans Republican, but there are some serious issues with that statement.

Autism and diabetes are NOT RARE diseases. The Center for Disease Control estimated that approximately one in 150 births resulted in a child with autism; take the entire population of Ohio (11,478,006) and divide that by 150 and we can guess that over 76,000 people in this state alone have autism — that’s over three times the size of Athens — and the CDC says it is growing by 10-17 percent per year. As of August 2007, it is estimated that over 9 percent of Ohioans have diabetes. That’s more than 1 million people. It is the fifth leading cause of death in Ohio. It is especially prevalent in the Appalachian region, making it vitally important that the people we elect to represent us understand and care about the issue.

[FULL LETTER TO EDITOR @ THE POST]

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