Tuesday, November 23, 2010


There are only THREE more legislative days this session for the Senate to pass the autism reform legislation. THREE days.

We have been fighting for this insurance reform for almost six years now, and it all comes down to this final countdown. Our friends at My Great Kid interviewed House Majority Leader Kathy Angerer on their radio show recently. Click here to listen to a brief segment of the show which will be aired in its entirety this Sunday morning at 9 am on 1310am. Hear why it is so important that these bills get passed NOW and why it is critical that we do not let them die this session.


1. Contact your Michigan senator today and ask them to pass meaningful autism insurance reform this session. Ask them if we can count on them voting YES for the autism insurance legislation when it comes up for a vote next week. If your Republican Senator opposes the legislation or is on the fence, ask your senator if he/she will vote YES to allow the legislation to come for a vote on the floor. You can find out who your Michigan State Senator is and their phone number HERE. Be polite, but persistent.  Don't be concerned if your senator is not in their office. Most of the Senators will be gone this week on vacation, but their staff will still be there answering the phone and counting calls.  Talk with their staff and let them know how critical it is that this legislation pass this year. Ask them if they know where the Senator stands.

If you want to have even MORE of an impact, please take a moment and call Senators below who are still undecided or have told us they will not vote in favor of it.

Jason Allen 517-373-2413 senjallen@senate.michigan.gov
 Patricia Birkholz 517-373-3447 senpbirkholz@senate.michigan.gov
 Mike Bishop 517-373-2417 senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov
 Cameron Brown 517-373-5932 sencbrown@senate.michigan.gov
 Nancy Cassis 517-373-1758 senncassis@senate.michigan.gov
 Alan Cropsey 517-373-3760 senacropsey@senate.michigan.gov
 Valde Garcia 517-373-2420 senvgarcia@senate.michigan.gov
 Tom George 517-373-0793 sentgeorge@senate.michigan.gov
 Jud Gilbert 517-373-7708 senjgilbert@senate.michigan.gov
 Bill Hardiman 517-373-1801 senbhardiman@senate.michigan.gov
 Mark Jansen 517-373-0797 SenMJansen@senate.michigan.gov
 Ron Jelinek 517-373-6960 senrjelinek@senate.michigan.gov
 Roger Kahn 517-373-1760 SenRKahn@senate.michigan.gov
 Wayne Kuipers 517-373-6920 senwkuipers@senate.michigan.gov
 Michelle McManus 517-373-1725 senmmcmanus@senate.michigan.gov
 Alan Sanborn 517-373-7670 senasanborn@senate.michigan.gov
Tony Stamas 517-373-7946 ofctstamas@senate.michigan.gov
Liz Brater 517-373-2406 senlbrater@senate.michigan.gov
Irma Clark-Coleman (517) 373-0990  seniclark-coleman@senate.michigan.gov
Michael Prusi (517) 373-7840 senmprusi@senate.michigan.gov
Mickey Switalski (517) 373-7315 senmswitalski@senate.michigan.gov

 2.  Follow up your phone call with a quick, personalized e-mail.  Here is a link to a FACT PAGE about the legislation. Please use these facts to support your own personal story. Again, to have even a more effective impact, please send emails to the Senators in the regions above who are on the fence or opposed.

3. Join AIM and other parents from around the state next week in Lansing! We plan to be there early in the morning on 11/30 (by 8:45am) as the Republican caucus decides whether or not to hold a vote. If they do decide to hold a vote, it could be that same morning, the following day on Dec. 1st, or the last day of the session, Dec. 2nd. We will be there to see that the job gets done. If the caucus decides to NOT hold a vote on 11/30, we will be there talking to Senators, pulling them off the floor, and making our presence known. Please join us in this very critical advocacy action.
If you are coming from out of town, and would like to spend the night, please feel free to email Ann for more details and suggested places to stay in town. Some of us are planning on staying overnight on the 30th for sure.
We would like to see as many Senate districts from around the state represented on 11/30 in Lansing. If you plan to come, please let us know who you are and where you are coming from, in case we need you to speak to your Senator that day. Some legislators only want to talk to their own constituents. Please take a moment and fill out this form if you plan on coming to Lansing on the 30th, 1st or 2nd (as needed) so we have a good idea of which districts are being represented. If you don't get a chance to fill out the form, please feel free to come anyways, but look for an AIM committee member to sign in with and receive a name tag.
AIM t-shirts will be available to wear on 11/30 (as sizes are available). If you already have an AIM t-shirt, please wear it.

4. Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know who lives in Michigan, asking them to take action as well.  They do not have to be personally affected by autism.  There is strength in numbers.  The stronger our voice, the more likely our success becomes.   

Things could change by the minute and we will be sending out regular communications as we learn more over the coming days.  Please stand ready to take action. We are in the closing miles of the marathon, heading up heartbreak hill. Now more than ever, we must put one foot in front of the other. 

We will be asking you to take action frequently over the next week. After almost six years, it has come down to the final few days. Please do not grow weary in the effort now! We have a great opportunity to pass meaningful autism insurance reform legislation this year. Thanks for doing all you can to help us cross the finish line.

5. Click here for some motivational music as you finish reading this email...

You can stay up to date by visiting the AIM webpage or the AIM Facebook page on a regular basis.


Thank you for your commitment and advocacy,



AIM is comprised of over 3000 residents of Michigan who have pledged their support in passing the autism insurance legislation in Michigan. The sole aim of AIM is to pass autism insurance legislation in Michigan with the help of those 3000+ members.

AIM Position Statement

It is our position that
1) legislation should be passed in the state of Michigan that will require insurance companies to cover diagnosis, treatment, and services for all people wiht Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
2) all people with ASD should be covered, regardless of age.
3) Autism Spectrum Disorder is defined as any of the pervasive developmental disorders as defined by the most recent edition of the DSM.
4) this coverage should include treatments as prescribed or ordered by the insured's treating physician or psychologist and that no insurer may deny coverage for an individual based solely on the fact that the individual is diagnosed with an ASD.
5) covered treatments shall not be subject to visit limits.
6) there should be a provision for an expedited arbitration process if an insurance company denies coverage or changes coverage status.
7) coverage should not be construed as limiting access to benefits or other services that are otherwise available to an individual.

List of Supporting Organizations as of 4/23/10

ACT Network

Ann Arbor Families for Autistic Children's Education and Support

Autism Advisory Group
Autism Alliance of Michigan
Autism ASK

Autism Insurance in Michigan (AIM)

Autism Resource Network

Autism Society of America

Autism Society of America - Oakland County Chapter

Autism Society of Washtenaw County

Autism Society of WestShore

Autism SpeaksAutism Alliance of Michigan

Beaumont Hospitals

Behavior Analysts Association of Michigan

Detroit Medical Center
DTE Energy Company

Early InterventionCenter

Easter Seals

Elder Disability Rights Association Section of the State Bar of Michigan

Family Chiropractic Clinic

First Capital Directories

Forestview Lanes

Fravel Financial Services

GFWC Madison Heights Intermediate Womens Club

Glenn Buege Chevrolet

Henry Ford Health System

HOPE Network
Image One Corporation

Kaufman Children's Center for Speech, Language, Sensory-Motor & Social Connections, Inc.

Michael James Associates

Michigan Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals

Michigan Association of IntermediateSchool Administrators

Michigan Association of School Administrators

Michigan Association of School Boards

Michigan Association of School Psychologists

Michigan Association of School Social Workers

Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health

Michigan Nurses Association

Michigan Pharmacists Association

Michigan PTA

Michigan Secondary School Principals Association

Michigan Speech Language Hearing Association

Middle Cities Education Association

Monroe IntermediateSchool District

National Alliance on Mental Illness - Michigan Chapter (member of Partners for Parity)

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section
Rehmann CPAs Troy, MI

The Abilities Center

The Ann Arbor Center for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
The Children's Center of Wayne County

Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District
Wayne County

If your organization is not on this list and you would like to show your support, please email your organization name and your contact information for verification to traveltrio@verizon.net Thank you!

Jim Bouder's Testimony 6/9/09

Espinozas' Testimony 6/9/09