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Larson Applauds US Court Decision Supporting Military Kids with Autism

July 31, 2012
Press Release

Washington – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) applauded a U.S. District Court decision last week to require TRICARE – the military healthcare system – to cover Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy as a medical treatment for military families that have children with autism. According to recent estimates, 1 in every 88 military children has autism.

"Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day for our country, and they, and their families, deserve access to the best possible medical care we can give them," said Larson. "Families like Rachel Kenyon and her husband Sergeant Major William Kenyon of the Connecticut National Guard, who have already sacrificed so much, should not have to fight for the care they need for their children too. I'm very pleased that the court has ordered the military to provide the best possible care for children with autism and I will continue my efforts to ensure that military families are getting all the help they need."

Larson sponsored the Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act, which would clarify that TRICARE must provide medically necessary behavioral treatments such as ABA for both active duty and retired military dependents as a part of the basic healthcare coverage. In May, an amendment he introduced on the same issue was included as a part of the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013. More recently, Congressman Larson praised a decision by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that allowed insurance coverage of ABA as a medical intervention for federal employees and their families, and wrote to Secretary Panetta, urging him to take action following OPM's decision.