Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Welcome to our “Medicare for Autism Now!” blog.

Welcome to our “Medicare for Autism Now!” blog. This site is dedicated to discussion and information pertaining to our political initiative to have science-based autism treatment, ABA/IBI universally accessible to every Canadian who requires it and covered under Medicare.

Our non-partisan political initiative was launched by FEAT of BC (Families for Early Autism Treatment of BC) It is a non-partisan, not-for-profit volunteer organization of parents and professionals seeking science-based treatment for all Canadians diagnosed with autism. FEAT of BC have worked for over a decade to bring universal access to the most effective type of autism treatment available- ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) to those afflicted with the condition in Canada. Currently, comprehensive and accessible Medicare is not available for autism treatment anywhere in Canada despite a government run health plan that is supposedly universal. It is unacceptable that children with physical disablilites have access to government health insurance coverage, yet children with a mental or neurological disability do not share in this important social safety net benefit. This is the case in every province in Canada.

FEAT of BC goes “coastal”

In the last federal election. FEAT of BC took part in five local BC campaigns. In at least one, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast, and perhaps a second, New Westminster-Coquitlam, it is fair to claim that we may have made the difference to the outcome. In the next election, we’re “going coastal”, expanding our reach to include constituencies in BC, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces that were each won by narrow margins. We’re going to participate in as many constituencies as our financial resources and number of volunteers (FEAT soldiers) permit. We have used and will use the internet to great effect.

The glacial pace of bureacratic time that afflicts the federal government in its approach to this urgent medical emergency is not acceptable. We are completely non-partisan, but we are going after any politician of any political party who continues to deny health care to Canadians affected by autism. Our governing motto is attributable to the late US Senator Everitt Dirksen, who once said, “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”

The “Medicare for Autism Now!” Rally was held on Sunday, Mar. 2nd at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby. Between 350-400 fair- minded Canadian voters who included parents, family members, friends, neighbours, professionals in the field, and many more all came out to listen and learn about how to make their vote and the votes of many they know count in the next federal election.

Nine speakers made presentations. Two were pre-recorded and shown via DVD. The speakers are from a variety of backgrounds – each bringing their own unique perspective but, common themes ran throughout each presentation.

• In the last 30 years, only two things have moved our issue forward – litigation and more recently, focused political action.
• Autism is a health care issue and it’s treatment needs to be enshrined under Medicare
• The current and limited funding provided through the provincial government’s social services ministries could evaporate tomorrow with the stroke of a bureacrat’s pen. No legislation exists within these ministries to protect treatment rights.
• It costs our economy more NOT to treat autism. Harvard University reported that today it costs the Canadian economy $3.5 billion per year to maintain the status quo and not fund treatment….The cost in human suffering is immeasurable.

We encourage you to take some time and watch the speeches and the media coverage. For parents of newly diagnosed children – it is an excellent history lesson…it is also a wake-up call for all of us to get involved.

We need your help – with money and time….It costs money to run a national campaign – any financial contribution would be welcome.

Please make cheques payable to:

c/o Suite 425 – 1489 Marine Drive,
West Vancouver, BC, V7T 1B8

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