Autism is a Partisan Issue?

Apparently so, according to those “compassionate conservatives” in Madison. Assembly Republicans have released a list of things that the Republican leadership sent out that they find objectionable in the Governor’s new budget, and included among the many objectionable items is this:

  • Autism Insurance Mandate with $1.3 million in new spending to cover the cost of the new mandate in state health insurance program.

So in our state’s multi-billion dollar budget, Assembly Republicans find it objectionable to spend 1.3 million dollars to make sure the autistic children of folks who have state health insurance are provided with coverage – coverage that they don’t have right now. Now maybe it’s because I’m biased, given that I’m the parent of an autistic child, but I simply cannot comprehend how anyone with children would vote against providing health insurance coverage to children who didn’t choose to be born with a life-altering disorder like autism. As Michael Mathias over at Pundit Nation has pointed out, “now that Republicans in the House of Representatives, including Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, are vowing to block an expansion of the SCHIP program, it seems inescapable that poor, very sick children are simply fair game for the more extremist elements of the GOP.” What kind of world is it we live in when folks are willing to use children as pawns in a partisan game of chicken?

I’m absolutely disgusted at the lengths some lawmakers are willing to go to in order to score cheap political points in an attempt to pander to their base, and I refuse to stand idly by while Republicans attempt to punish autistic children and their families simply to save a few dollars. I’ve emailed Mark Honadel, my State Assemblyman, because he apparently doesn’t care too much about autistic kids, as he voted against Governor Doyle’s proposed budget. Perhaps those lawmakers who want to cut the autism mandate from the state budget should put a face to all those autistic children who’d suffer, but if they can’t, I’ll do it for them. This is my autistic son Nicholas…


Related Articles