Friday, November 26, 2010


Dear Autism Advocate,
Next week, the Michigan Senate will be convening to conduct a short lame-duck session. This will be the final opportunity to pass autism insurance reform in Michigan this legislative session. Now, more than ever, we need anyone and everyone to take action. 
Only a few issues will be taken up during the lame duck session. We need to make sure that autism insurance reform is one of them. On Monday, November 29th, we are asking everyone from Michigan, whether they are personally affected by autism or not, to be part of a statewide grassroots push.
1. Call the list of Senators who are currently uncommitted Monday morning!
phone email iconPolitely ask them to pass autism insurance reform legislation during the lame duck session. Even if you've spoken with them before, it is imperative that you speak with them every day during the lame duck session, asking for their commitment and action!  
Patricia Birkholz           517-373-3447 
 Mike Bishop                517-373-2417 
 Cameron Brown          517-373-5932 
 Nancy Cassis              517-373-1758 
 Tom George               517-373-0793 
 Jud Gilbert                 517-373-7708 
 Bill Hardiman              517-373-1801 
 Mark Jansen               517-373-0797 

Ron Jelinek                 517-373-6960 
Roger Kahn                517-373-1760 
Wayne Kuipers            517-373-6920 
Tony Stamas               517-373-7946 
Liz Brater                    517-373-2406 
Irma Clark-Coleman     517-373-0990  
Michael Prusi               517-373-7840 

2.   Call Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and ask him to allow autism insurance reform legislation to be voted on by the Michigan senate THIS SESSION:
                      Senator Mike Bishop     (517) 373-2417

3. If possible, come to Lansing on TUESDAY
 and advocate in person. We need a polite, persistent presence at the State Capitol. Stakeholders are meeting Tuesday morning in the caim tshirtapitol rotunda at 8:30 am sharp
. If you are coming from a distance and would like to spend the night in Lansing, contact Ann at for travel/hotel information. If you are able to come, we would love to know ahead of time so we can make sure to have a good representation in key districts. Please take a moment to fill out this form: Count on Me! AIM t-shirts will be available in Lansing.

 4. Media Events: Please help spread the word!
- Let us know about any letters to the editor that makes it to your local paper(s)! We are hoping that this weekend's papers are filled with letters across the state. Thank you to everyone who submitted letters. We like to post all stories on the AIM Facebook page. 
Radio- Tune into the following shows over the next few days:
  • Saturday, 11/26 at 2:30pm on WJR, 950am: Steve Bockmann, of My Great Kid will be interviewed on the "Marie Osborn show"
  • Sunday, 11/27 at 9:00am on WDTW,1310am: House Majority Leader and autism reform champion, Kathy Angerer, will be interviewed on the "My Great Kid" radio show.
  • Monday, 11/28 at 10:30am on WJR, 760am: Lt. Gov.-Elect Brian Calley and Steve Bockmann will be interviewed on "The Frank Beckmann Show".
YouTube- Please watch and spread this compelling video of Lt. Governor-Elect Brian Calley's personal story of autism and why he supported the insurance legislation even before his daughter was diagnosed

5. Continue to leave voicemail messages all weekend, too!
The most important day is Monday, when our calls will be answered by "live" people, but leaving messages and filling up their voicemail boxes over the weekend will create quite an impact as well.
6. Forward this e-mail far and wide. The more Michigan voters we have advocating for the passage of this bill, the greater our odds of success become. Please spread the word! 

Please visit Autism Insurance in Michigan, Autism Votes, My Great Kid or the AIM Facebook page for updates.  Patience is a virtue. Persistence gets the job done.
 Let's pull together next Monday and advocate for successful passage of autism insurance reform legislation for the families of Michigan this year!
With gratitude,
The AIM committee members


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 Thank you!

Jim Bouder's Testimony 6/9/09

Espinozas' Testimony 6/9/09