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Goal: 50,000 Progress: 24,950
Sponsored by: The Veterans Site

For years the Department of Defense (DoD) has refused to acknowledge the validity of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) in treating the symptoms of autism. With over 23,000 military dependents living on the spectrum, this means restricted access to the most valuable treatment currently available. Already burdened by the constant moving and social turmoil of military life, families must also pay out of pocket for this costly yet vital therapy.

Rather than embrace change, the military's primary health care program, TRICARE, has imposed a series of even more restrictive guidelines, all while DoD lawyers continue to argue against covering ABA, citing "a lack of evidence of effectiveness." Medical professionals and organizations agree, however, that ABA is the most effective treatment available, helping those with autism lead happy and productive lives. Children tend to respond best to the therapy at a younger age, so as the DoD stalls and delays, families are losing precious time to help their loved ones.

With the world's largest, best-equipped, and best-financed military, such practices are unacceptable. An effective military starts with the people. Let's give military families the benefits they have earned.

Sign Here

Dear Dr. Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs:

As the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense of matters of health, you have an obligation to keep our nation's military healthy.

And you are failing.

For years the Department of Defense has refused to acknowledge the valuable service provided by Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) in treating the symptoms of autism. Medical consensus depicts ABA as the gold standard of autism therapies, yet TRICARE provides inadequate coverage and imposes unreasonable bureaucratic obstacles, leaving military families to incur debt trying to cover the costly yet necessary treatment.

It is time to live up to your obligation. The DoD should immediately:

  1. Recognize ABA as a "medical therapy." Current TRICARE policy labels ABA as "educational intervention" and places restrictive caps on who can receive benefits and how much they can receive. Even the federal courts recognized the misnomer, calling TRICARE's designation "arbitrary and capricious." Words matter.
  2. Fulfill the congressional mandate for a pilot program. The late-2012 order from Congress would establish a model for the future while providing immediate relief for the nation's veterans and their families. Several months overdue, the pilot should be launched immediately with clear and concise communication to the families affected.
  3. Reverse ABA cutbacks. The recently announced changes to ABA policy impose impractical obstacles to proper treatment and, given the timing of the changes, demonstrate an unwillingness to work with the families who are only seeking access to the benefits they earned.

The health and well-being of military families has a direct impact on military readiness. By continuing to stall on this matter, the DoD not only betrays the nation's military, but also puts the nation at risk.

Please do the right thing.

Petition Signatures

Mar 20, 2018 connie bott
Mar 19, 2018 Julia Brandner
Mar 19, 2018 Debrah Alston
Mar 19, 2018 Klarista Spragg
Mar 19, 2018 Mildred Maldonado I think it’s the least they could do for them after there’re risking their lives to serve our country.
Mar 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 19, 2018 Cindy Workman
Mar 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 19, 2018 Barbara Sheppard
Mar 19, 2018 Melissa Burch
Mar 19, 2018 Amintha Rainey
Mar 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 19, 2018 Virgil Pauls
Mar 19, 2018 (Name not displayed) Autism is a real medical issued and should be treated as such and not sweeper under the rug!
Mar 19, 2018 (Name not displayed) Early diagnosis and treatment for autism is vital, let's start spending money for the care of our Veterans and their families, the people who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.
Mar 19, 2018 Linda Neville
Mar 19, 2018 Marta Machado
Mar 19, 2018 James Hartley
Mar 19, 2018 Marcia Ziegler This should be mandatory coverage! How can it not be! AND in the long run it can only help our society!
Mar 19, 2018 Heidi Zank
Mar 19, 2018 Bryant Neville
Mar 19, 2018 Amy Eddy
Mar 19, 2018 Zachary Zank
Mar 19, 2018 Tiffany Neville We have been battling for months to get our son the therapy he needs bit because there is no in network therapy we have to jump through hoops, apply for Medicaid which is still a battle to get therapy due to the military insurance hoops.
Mar 19, 2018 Lisa Childs
Mar 19, 2018 Margaret MCGAWsullivan
Mar 19, 2018 Michelle Weston
Mar 19, 2018 Chalonda Colley
Mar 18, 2018 Russell Collins Why are our military families being denied this basic coverage ?
Mar 17, 2018 Virginia Johle
Mar 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 15, 2018 Linda Weaver
Mar 15, 2018 Michael Crowden
Mar 15, 2018 Paula Keenum
Mar 15, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 15, 2018 Stephanie Dalton
Mar 15, 2018 Douglas Waldroop Time fo universal healthcare !!!
Mar 14, 2018 K Cherry
Mar 14, 2018 Carla Wilson
Mar 13, 2018 JAMES MARTYN JR
Mar 13, 2018 P Olins
Mar 13, 2018 Jeanette Taylor
Mar 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 5, 2018 Toby Cardoso
Mar 4, 2018 Fernanda Camino
Mar 4, 2018 Crystal Lins
Mar 4, 2018 Martin Favorite How typical of vile 5 time draft dodger Trump and his cronies to pretend to love our military while screwing those who serve.

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