Campaign Promises

Departments -> Health & Human Services -> Autism

ItemHealth & Human Services
HE-2 The Promise: "...will fully fund the Combating Autism Act, which provides nearly $1 billion in autism-related funding over 5 years."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Americans with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)" dated 10/30/08.
Status:FY2010 budget appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) included $48M to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Autism and Other Developmental Disorders (a $6M increase over FY2009), $141M to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $22M for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), all for activities associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), for a total of $211M against the authorized amount of $210M stipulated in "Combating Autism Act of 2006" (S. 843) (Public Law 109-416). On top of the foregoing, ASD research benefited from an additional $123.9M from tha American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

For FY2011, President Obama's budget proposal included $222M across HHS activities for research, detection, treatment etc. related to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by ASD. The authorized amount for FY2011 was $231M as stipulated in the "Combating Autism Act of 2006."

On 09/30/11, President Obama signed into law the "Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) of 2011" (H.R. 2005) which authorized $924M in continued federal funding for FY2011-FY2014 ($231M per year) for autism research, treatment and services (source: ""). This was followed by President Obama's signature of the FY2012 budget bill on 12/23/11 which authorized $230M for FY2012 CARA requirements.

The "Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2014," also known as the "Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2014" (or "Autism CARES Act of 2014") (H.R. 4631) amended the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize research, surveillance, and education activities related to autism conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This bill was signed into law by President Obama on 08/08/14 and authorized $1.3B in funding for FY2015-2019 ($260M per year), an increase of $29M per year over the CARA of FY2011 authorization.

This promise was fulfilled.
HE-3 The Promise: "...will mandate insurance coverage of autism treatment and will also continue to work with parents, physicians, providers, researchers, and schools to create opportunities and effective solutions for people with ASD."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Supporting Americans with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)" dated 10/30/08.
Status:Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 does not mention autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by name, insurance is mandated across the board for "behavioral health treatment", "developmental delays or disabilities", and other category descriptors under which ASD normally falls, to include the prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions or discrimination based on health status (Section 2704).

In addition, funds are set aside in the Act for "mental and behavioral health education and training grants," "early identification and referral for children at risk for developmental or behavioral problems," screening activities for "mental health/behavioral health disorders," etc.

In 11/12, the Department of HHS advised states that if they did not have autism insurance reform laws in effect by 12/13, they could not have autism coverage for CY2014 and CY2015. As of end-CY2016, 46 states and the District of Columbia (DC) had autism insurance coverage.

The promise was to "mandate" that all states have insurance coverage for autism.

This promise was not fulfilled.