October 8: You Aughta Know This Week

My autistic son is sleeping in a toddler bed at last and it’s been a rough week for health care access advocates, in spite of clearing the September 30 deadline to pass a repeal bill.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Trump will sign an Executive Order next week intended to further weaken the ACA exchanges ahead of open enrollment period beginning November 1. The “synthetic repeal” would do three terrible things.

1. Allow individuals and small businesses to purchase cheaper plans lacking essential benefits, as predicted by everyone.

Mr. Trump will order three agencies, the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury, to take steps to make it easier for people to band together and buy insurance through “association health plans,” the official said.

Such plans would in some ways be like large employer’s health plans, subject to some restrictions set by the Affordable Care Act, including a ban on lifetime limits. But they would be free of other regulations, including the requirement that insurance plans cover a set package of benefits.

2. Allow junk insurance to be sold for a year or more.

The president also will order the agencies to start winding back an Obama-era rule curbing coverage known as “short-term medical insurance,” a low-cost but limited-protection option, and allow people to once again buy those plans for up to a year, the official said.

3. Allow health reimbursement accounts to be used to buy exchange plans.

In addition, the executive order would order agencies to expand health reimbursement accounts, employer-funded arrangements that employees can use to pay out-of-pocket medical costs and premiums. Obama-era guidance from 2013 had prevented pretax employer dollars in the arrangements from being used to buy health insurance on the individual market.

The WSJ calls it 45’s most substantive efforts yet to trash the ACA, though that’s not really saying much.

Other News

Nazis marched in Charlottesville, again, with torches.

From December 2016 but just discovered now, Inclusion and Acceptance are the Best Autism “Therapies”.

In trying to do my best to care for my son, I’d listened to these so-called “experts” over my own intuition and intelligence. And let them define him and his actions in these gross, bizarre, animalistic terms. In psychology, it’s called “pathologizing” — when you make everything a person with a specific diagnosis does seem like a dysfunctional act that is a symptom of their diagnosis, even if it is something that many people of the same age are doing.

The majority of my experience with therapists and special education teachers regarding my son from age 2–6 was them saying, “See! He is Autistic. This is what Autistics do; They “insert pathologized word here (graze, stim, etc.)” Most children “eat”, my child “grazed”. Most children “act silly”, my child “stimmed”. Most children “get upset”, my child “had a meltdown”. Most children “misbehave”, my child “has behavioral disabilities”. It was a constant effort, on their part, to show me how “different” and “damaged” my child was; to make sure I was fully aware of his “otherness”.

George Will said Trump has “social autism” and mainstream media seems to think that’s not totally offensive. Gross, Washington Post.

And finally, the New York Times talks Singapore’s health care system.

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