Beshear, AGs Urge Congress to Continue Support for Autism Services

Andy Beshear

(Sept. 3, 2019) – Attorney General Andy Beshear has joined 46 attorneys general in calling on Congress to authorize the Autism CARES Act of 2019, which will provide ongoing federal support for research into autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and services.

Beshear said the act must be passed since the previous version of the legislation expires Sept. 30.

“We are united in our support for autism research and services,” Beshear said. “Passage of this act will help ensure there will be no gaps in care for the families in need here in Kentucky and across the country.”

According to the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, one out of every 59 children in the nation has been diagnosed with ASD.

The 2019 act would continue to prioritize community-based solutions for incorporating adults with ASD into society, including job activities that encourage independence and relieve autism-related symptoms and reinforcing daily life skills. Beshear said Congress began addressing autism in 2000 with the first enactment of the bill.

The Autism CARES Act of 2019 currently exists as H.R. 1058 in the U.S. House of Representatives and S. 427 in the U.S. Senate.

Attorneys general in the neighboring states of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia joined Beshear in signing the letter.

Beshear has made preserving access to affordable health care protections for all Kentucky families a priority since taking office.

In August, Beshear and a coalition of 12 attorneys general took another step in their fight to protect health care for Kentucky families and millions of families across the country.

In their final brief filed before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the attorneys general urged the court to uphold a lower court’s decision that struck down a change to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Association Health Plan (AHP) Rule, which sought to sidestep consumer protections and sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In the brief, the attorneys general argue the rule aims to exempt AHPs from offering critical consumer health protections that the ACA imposes on individual and small group markets.

Upon completion of the briefing phase, the Court of Appeals will schedule oral arguments.

Similarly, Beshear and a coalition of 17 attorneys general are awaiting a decision by the Court of Appeals in Texas v. U.S. Beshear said he is fighting to preserve access to affordable health care for more than 1.3 million Kentuckians, including those with pre-existing conditions.

Beshear said if the lower court’s decision in that case is not overturned, Kentuckians could be harmed in several ways, including women and seniors being charged more for the same policies, lifetime spending caps being imposed on patients with chronic conditions and diseases, and Medicaid expansion being eliminated, which would remove $15 billion from the state’s economy.

To stay up to date on Beshear’s efforts to preserve health care protections for Kentucky families visit, ag.ky.gov/healthcare.

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