Air Quote *This*

September 24, 2010

Sharron Angle’s unbelievably simpleminded comments regarding Autism insurance coverage have angered this 40 year old registered Republican to the point that I’m leaving the GOP and will vote for Harry Reid.

I realize this is a long post. This is not about “Obamacare“ or “Big Government”. The CliffsNotes version of this post is that I pay a lot of money for private insurance, I’d like the right of using it to help my daughter who is affected by Autism. Republican and Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle has promised to revoke a recent law that would end years of discrimination and grant me this right.

A bit about me: I am a proud UNLV graduate and have been a Nevada resident since 1988. I pay my taxes and I vote. I’m friendly, and while I’m upside down on my house, I continue to pay my mortgage. I coach youth soccer and I drive four school carpools. My yard is tidy despite the fact that I can’t seem to keep my pool from becoming a swamp. In short, I’d like to think I am the type of neighbor everyone would enjoy having when they think of living in suburban America. I make a comfortable living working in the hi-tech industry for one of the largest software companies in the world. In addition to what my company pays for my family’s health insurance, I pay an additional $1,200 a month after taxes for premium coverage to ensure that my children have access to the doctor of our choice, at any time, and are never at the mercy of a HMO. This health insurance, that I pay for with money that I earned and payed taxes on, is supposed to cover the health needs of my entire family. The definition of my entire family includes me, my wife and five daughters, the youngest of which is affected by Autism.

Despite having this extensive private coverage, it is almost impossible for me to use my insurance towards any of the proven effective treatments and behavioral interventions geared towards Autism to help treat my daughter. These treatments are not the radical approaches, experimental techniques, or homeopathic remedies that spark controversies and debate. The treatments we seek and get denied coverage for are speech therapy, occupational therapy, and Applied Behavioral Analysis. Like Sharron Angle, most insurance companies put air quotes around Autism, indicating that they do not believe it is a valid medical condition that deserves coverage.

For the past three years we have been paying cash for these scientifically proven therapies and interventions, while also paying for insurance coverage we cannot use. We do so because our daughter needs these therapies to have some semblance of what most of us would call a normal life. She is our child, whom we love as much as any of our other four girls, and we will do what ever it takes to give her any advantage over her disorder. We are not looking for a handout, we simply want to use the insurance that we pay for, but are currently denied the right to do so.

This is exactly what the Autism Insurance Reform Bill (AB 162) was designed to do. It will finally bring an end to the discrimination that insurance companies have been practicing for years. It will finally allow families, who have private insurance and are affected by Autism, access to affordable, effective therapies and the professionals who perform them. Perhaps it will also stop the snake oil selling charlatans who prey on desperate parents looking for anything to make their life just a little more manageable. Sadly, (but understandably) many parents of children affected by Autism have resorted to a “try anything” mentality after having been continually denied access to the therapies, techniques, and interventions that do work by their private health insurance company. In most cases the “alternative” approaches to treating autism only result in lost money. In some cases, they result in the loss of an innocent life. Most importantly, I’d like to think that Nevada’s AB 162, and similar insurance reform laws being enacted around the country, will stop things like this from ever happening again.

But before a single Nevadan has had the chance to benefit from the Autism Insurance Reform Bill, Sharron Angle would like to get rid of it. In fact she promised to do so, and Sharron says she always keeps her promises (like her promise to debate Senator Reid on Live TV?). Is candidate Angle really that naive to think insurance companies will lower their premiums because they won’t have to cover Autism diagnosis and related therapies? The truth is that health insurance companies barely cover any of these therapies today by having ridiculously low lifetime maximums (they are less than I pay the each year for insurance premiums) and cruel pre-existing condition clauses, all while enjoying record profits. There is nothing wrong with a business being profitable, but when the gains are ill-gotten, they must be held accountable to the people.

On the few rare occasions that these therapies are actually covered by private insurance, the insurance companies will almost always refuse to pay the bill initially, despite the fact that your child has a medical diagnosis of Autism from a fully certified doctor. A doctor whom is on that insurance company’s approved list of physicians. Unfortunately, this has forced the those who specialize in health care for Autism related disorders to run a cash only business. They know the insurance companies too well, and after years of slow pay or no pay, insist on up front payment of services from their clients. From there it takes months to get reimbursed and it is rarely at the rate that your plan dictates. Insurance companies use the excuse that providers are “out of network” paying often less than 50% of the bill, yet they never offer any “in-network” alternatives. They typically deny reimbursements for the same exact therapy that you fought with their review board over, and got approval for, the month prior. They continually cite that “additional documentation is necessary” even though you’ve sent them the multi-page medical diagnosis so many times that you need to buy a new fax machine. In addition to the full time job of being “Mom and Dad” while working someplace that pays them actual dollars, parents are required to assume the roles of bill collectors, defense attorneys, and advocates when dealing with health insurance companies. If you work for a big enough company that provides a significant amount of revenue to these health insurance companies, you can usually take advantage of having a specialist from your benefits department assist in the above, but even then it is more stressful and frustrating than words can describe.

The irony here, a concept that I would venture to guess escapes Sharron Angle, is that the Autism Insurance Reform Bill was targeted towards those, who at least from a socioeconomic standpoint, would normally be considered her voter base. AB 162 is not “Obamacare”, rather it’s what other health care legislation should strive to be. It simply prevents private insurance companies from discriminating against those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is no different than similar laws enacted which make it is illegal to drop coverage for someone who gets diagnosed with cancer or other serious illnesses that will prove costly from a care standpoint. To the people who blindly refer to laws like AB 162 as a “government run health plan”, you might be surprised to know that plenty of state, federal, and private programs already exist that will pay for these therapies in full with no cost to the families. These programs, designed to assist with the financial burdens encountered raising children with special needs, have existed through every GOP Presidency and GOP controlled congress since Nixon. However to qualify for these programs, a family needs to be around the poverty threshold financially. Again, from a purely socioeconomic standpoint, the people who qualify for these programs would not be considered the GOP voter base. She is not only misleading her own voters, but she is also hurting them financially. Neither she, nor her advisers are intelligent enough to realize this. Should Sharron Angle get elected and keep her promise to strike down AB 162, I would be far better off quitting my job and relying on the taxpayers in order to get my daughter the care she requires. And that, supporters of Sharron Angle, is the definition of irony.

While I’ve made a comfortable living since my 30′s, I know that I will most likely never be able to retire. Before Autism, we had a plan: 401K, Stocks, savings. Since my daughters diagnosis, I’ve cashed out my entire portfolio so she can receive the treatment she needs for her disorder. Treatment that I am denied coverage for by my private insurance company, regardless of the fact that I already pay them more than what most US citizens earn on a yearly basis for premium coverage.

Despite all of this, I really do consider myself fortunate because we can get my daughter some of the treatment she needs and that it is working. Most families forgo treatment all together because they simply can’t afford it even though their jobs provide them with private health insurance. For these families, and the millions of their children that are affected by Autism, the financial burden of their care will eventually fall on the taxpayers. Without fair access to the affordable and effective treatments that Autism Insurance Reform Bill provides, this burden will continue to grow.

Autism affects more children than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined, yet only receives less than 5% of research funding of any single one of those childhood diseases. From a National spending standpoint, Autism research is allocated a mere 0.5% of the National Institutes of Health research funds, despite the fact that incidence rates are rising. They are rising so quickly that some are forced to try to explain it away via their opinion that health care professionals are either getting at better at diagnosing Autism or worse at it. If the latter were true, then there should be 1 in 110 people across all age groups that are considered to be on the Autism Spectrum. Where are the millions of 30, 40, and 50 year old Americans that have this disorder? Studies show that they don’t exist even in a fraction of the same numbers that are occurring today. If the former were the case, why is this all of a sudden becoming an issue? Why does every school in the 5th largest school district in the US have a program dedicated to kids on the Autism Spectrum?

The rise in real medical diagnosis’s of Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) is a serious issue. I know this because I see the families affected by Autism every day. I know this because these numbers did not exist when I was of school age. I know this because most people had never heard the world Autism was until they saw Rain Man in 1988, yet expect my daughter to act like the character portrayed in that movie. I know this because I had four typical kids before Autism entered our lives, a disorder that now controls every single aspect of our daily lives. Those affected by ASD are not “Stupid. Or Lazy. Or Both” or “brats” nor do they “lack discipline at home“. They are our sons, our daughters, our loved ones whom have a real medical disorder that causes their brains to operate differently than typical people. Thus, they need to be taught differently, and they need to be treated with different therapies and interventions to help them succeed. You can bet there will be many more people affected by ASD in the near future until science can figure out what is going on.

Today Autism has no known cure, nor is there a scientifically agreed upon method to prevent it. I’m not here to argue Thermisol, pesticides, or food additives. The simple fact is that the therapies I discussed above, are the very same therapies that would be provided by Autism Insurance Reform Bill. These therapies are scientifically and socially proven to be effective in helping to those affected by the disorder. Not only can these therapies lead to a child’s first eye contact, their first smile, or even their first word ever, they are lifetime investments in that child. For many on the spectrum, these investments allow them to become productive and integrated members of our society. Productive, integrated citizens are contributors to society, not burdens upon it. History shows all too well that things that which we lack empathy for will cost us dearly.

Sharron Angle’s desire to eliminate the Autism Insurance Reform Bill will result in a financial crisis, the likes of which have never been witnessed. Obesity, a 100% preventable health issue, costs more than $100 billion dollars a year. Imagine what the cost of providing long term care and housing will be for a significant part of the population because they were denied access to the necessary social tools required to deal with society? I wish I could say Sharron Angle’s view on insurance coverage for those on the Autism Spectrum was just classic case of “penny wise, pound foolish”, but it is so much more than that.

It is financially irresponsible.

It is socially malicious.

It lacks the empathy that was once considered a core trait of being an American.

Sadly, it’s just more of the same from Sharron Angle. While I really hate to use political taglines and soundbites, candidate Angle has indeed proven to me that she is “too extreme”. But should I really expect anything less from a person who said they would counsel pregnant victims of rape and incest that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” and that it is possible to make “a lemon situation into lemonade“? Not only is she too extreme, she is dangerous for Nevadans and all Americans. Dangerous because she espouses blind hatred, indifference, and selfishness. These traits will destroy the America we all love. Please join me in voting for somebody other than Sharron Angle. If you won’t vote for Harry Reid, consider using the None Of The Above option. Nevada is the only state in the US which allows you this luxury.

To my (former) fellow conservatives who have read this far, please consider the slippery slope you are about to embark upon:

Republican and Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle doesn’t think I should have the right to use a service, that I legally purchased with my own money, for it’s intended purpose.

Republican and Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle is siding with “Big Business”, both of whom believe they know what is best for my family .

Republican and Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle, believes it’s the government’s job to stop me from using my own money to better the life of my family.

And you think she’s conservative?


33 Responses to “Air Quote *This*”

  1. Kevin said

    Go get ’em, Craig!

  2. T said

    Here here. Great post

  3. and you think a government run health plan is going to give your daughter more treatment options? ummm……not!

    • Bill, did you even read my post. Perhaps, really do so this time and avoid typical knee jerk response I’ve come to expect from those who blindly recite GOP soundbites.
      Let me give you the cliff notes: I pay for insurance, I’d like the “privilege” of using it. The so called “government run health plan” you refer to already pays for treatment options for those who cannot afford insurance, and has been in place since Reagan, Bush Sr, and Bush Jr. Like I’d ask Sharon Angle to do, please educate yourself on the facts before opening your mouth. You’ve only helped prove my point why she, and so many others like her, should not be elected.

  4. Bryant said

    Good for you Craig. I came to your posting through a facebook link. I’m an autism researcher and ABA clinician. Your argument is 100% valid. Indeed, it is ridiculous that the scientifically sound intervention strategies you listed are not covered by insurance companies. Not sure if you are aware, but families receive free services from regional centers in California (government funded agencies serving families of children with developmental disabilities). None of the clients I see each day pay for services, rather, contracted hours are distributed to clients based on severity of diagnosis, behavioral challenges at home and school, etc. Many children with ASD grow up to be very happy and independent, so keep at it no matter what! Your a super dad.

  5. Craig,
    Senator Reid has said and done countless stupid things in his too-long career in public office. It is time for him to go. We in the GOP are glad to see you go. Perhaps NV can be the second coming of CA. We in AZ hope you keep making dumb choices up there in Eastern California. Be careful what you wish for. Rock on, dumbass.

    • Bill, if that is your name, what are hiding from? A parked URL, Gmail?

      It’s pretty big of you to call me a dumbass. Have we met? Have you met the wonderful little 5 year old girl that this post was about? Or are you merely reciting soundbites you’ve heard from conservative talk radio? Because right now you sound like a quarter-rate Rush Limbaugh that doesn’t know what to do when faced with a sound logical argument.

      What exactly have I wished for for? That I can use a service that I’ve paid for so that my daughter has a legitimate shot at life? That using *MY MONEY FOR SERVICES I PAID FOR* might just mean she doesn’t have to be institutionalized at the tax payers expense? Is that what you are so angry about? If not, please give me a sound argument why you keep visiting my blog.

      Eastern CA, that’s hilarious. Did you come up with that on your own? I’ll have to remember that.

      You have the stage here “Bill”. Please tell the world why I should support Sharron Angle. Tell me, the father of five daughters why, if they were raped, that they should “Make a lemon situation out of lemonade”. Please tell me why we should give a job to someone who wouldn’t fight for theirs. Please, because I’d really like to know. Do you really think Sharron Angle is qualified? Or is she just another candidate that wasn’t vetted thoroughly?

      Or are you trying to tell me that Sharron Angle said and did something stupid?

      Do tell, because she isn’t saying anything, which makes me believe she really believes what she said. You seem to be her spokesperson here, so go on. What did she mean? Was it a slip of the tongue? Because one rarely uses “air quotes” on things they are just babbling on about.

      Please be descriptive as possible because a lot of people, including many of my conservative friends, are watching this blog to see how “their party” will respond. Yeah, things are weird that way. People love my daughter and that might just transcend the anger you are spewing.

      Or are you telling me that Sharron Angle was wrong? Why not tell her? Why are you so angry at someone who wants to help his daughter? I would hope it would be easy for you to see why I would be angry with Sharron Angle. Perhaps you lack compassion? You know who else lacks compassion for those who don’t think the same way they do? Does 9/11 ring a bell? Again though, that’s irony. I guess it escapes you too.

      I do however wonder what Sarah Palin would have to say about Angle’s comments, you know, with Trig being special needs and what not. I guess she’s a dumbass too. Sucks to love your children I guess. Good luck in the election, and maybe you should seek out some anger management. You might just be able to empathize with your fellow Americans and stop the name calling. It really makes *you* look like a dumbass.

  6. Art Peck said

    You go guy! I don’t know who “Bill” is but I don’t think he (she?) represents mainstream conservative thinking. You and I have known each other for a long time. I think you know me to be a “less government is better” thinker. I don’t see how that leads me to “Bill’s” line of reasoning. In my opinion, you should get what you paid for. The insurance carrier should either pay up for Bell’s treatment or refund some portion of your premiums. I stood, and still stand, pretty firmly opposed to a government run health system. HOWEVER, some stronger regulation of the health insurance industry is certainly in order. Resizing of course that doing so may drive up premiums at least in the short term.

    Good luck! Battle on Brother! and give the girls a hug for us.

  7. Kim said

    Thank you, Craig, for posting this and making your stand. Angle’s comments have resonated all the way to NJ, my home state, where 1 in 94 children have autism and 1 in 70 boys. As a parent of a two-year old girl with autism, I am more than disgusted at the ignorance and insensitivity of Ms. Angle’s statements and inferences. I am going to link you to my Facebook page and my blog. Thank you for speaking up and crossing party lines for what you believe in.

  8. Maybe you should look at the medical decisions you made regarding your daughter and how that may have impacted her current condition!!!
    I believe you are the one in need of “anger management”. Such a long response to a short rebuttal of your views. BTW, you are NOT a conservative. You ARE a “George Bush Republican”, at best, if not an outright Liberal. Stop spewing your lies about your political affiliation. You may leave the GOP now. Your kind is not welcome here.
    I think you are foolish to be spending all that money and not getting what you pay for.
    Healthcare reform is definitely necessary. Just not in the way your Senator Reid is advocating.
    God bless,
    (yes that is my real name)

    • You’re a class act Bill. You have zero idea what you are talking about with regards to the medical decisions I’ve made for my daughter. It’s easy to say these things on the internet though. I seriously doubt you’d say this if you knew me.

      I’ve never said one thing about what Senator Reid is advocating. Again, read the blog. This is about about what Sharron Angle wants to get rid of. A reform law that had 100% bi-partisan support in Nevada. My insurance covers my whole family, for the most part everything else, except Autism. You keep trying to make this seem like I am pitching a government run health plan, and that is not what this is about at all.

  9. DBender said

    Wow, Bill, medical decisions that “we” made that impact her current condition? I beg of you, please elaborate.

    Mama Bear

  10. @ Kim: Craig is not crossing party lines. He is a Democrat. He is acting like he is crossing party lines because he is hoping that real conservatives will follow his lead and jump off the party ship and not vote for Ms. Angle so Senator Reid can be re-elected.
    @ Craig: last time I checked, if you are not voting for Ms. Angle, you will be voting for Senator Reid, correct? What does Senator Reid advocate? That’s right. A government-run healthcare system. You claim you are not advocating a vote for Senator Reid or a gov’t healthcare system, yet by bashing Ms. Angle……well, you kinda are. Maybe if you all weren’t so busy covering all the illegals and their medical problems (paging Senator Reid, your valuable “voter-bloc-in-waiting” is on the line…can you say “Dream Act” Craig?) you may find more gubment money to take care of your family????
    @ Mama Bear: Sadly, too many parents make poor decisions regarding their children’s diets, vaccinations, and exposure to dangerous toxins that have been known to cause problems in the “gut” which has been linked to the onset of autism. I am not saying this is the case with your child. It is the case with many children, though.
    God bless you and your family for all the extra hard work you must do to raise a special-needs child. I do wish you well……….just stop using your kids to score political points, please!!!!

    • Bill,
      You’ve convinced me to remain a member of the GOP. I truly believe the party needs my intelligence. Let’s recap your posts on this blog to find out why.

      1) You start by posting a standard GOP party line question that is meant to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt. A question, which has zero bearing on my post. I ask for an explanation.

      2) You tell me how horrible Reid is. Fine, your opinion. Not saying I agree or disagree. But now Nevada is Eastern California, and I’m a dumbass. I still ask for you to articulate why you are here.

      3) Now, like Angle, you decide to marginalize Autism and the impact it has had on my life. Even taking a Savage-esque approach of placing the blame on the parents. Somehow you obviously know my voting record. You continue to try to insult me. You state that I’m also foolish for providing health care insurance for my entire family. You’re right Bill, that is foolish! I should let the taxpayers fund it. So, really are for government run health care, aren’t you? Finally you say health care reform is needed. If “Conservatives” feel that the Autism Insurance Reform Act, which does not use public funds, isn’t the right kind, what is? Please answer that question Bill.

      You also ask God to bless me. Much appreciated, but I’m puzzled. I’m going to take a wild guess that you are Christian and you are speaking of Jesus. Is this the Jesus that fed the masses, associated with the common people, the same Jesus that threw over the money changing tables in the temple because the priests were renting the space instead of tending to the people? Or is this some distorted view of a Caucasian Jesus whose do unto others message meant to throw a couple of dollars in the collection basket and for all others to stay off my lawn?

      4) Finally you launch right back at my voting record, and again you couldn’t be more wrong. But you’ve done an excellent job summarizing the problem with the GOP today. It’s no longer intelligent people discussing a more effective government, it’s a contest to see who can be more over the top. Did I open with Reid? Absolutely. I can’t think of a better way to express my displeasure at the choices that I am given as a GOP member and how much I despise the hypocritical view points of candidate Angle. By the way Bill, I’m for strong borders. I’m all about the rules. I know that’s hard to believe since I’m not backing Sharron Angle. What can I say, besides that fact that I have a brain and free will.

      Do you have daughters Bill? What if they were raped and impregnated by one of the “all the illegals” that Reid let in? Would you “take a lemon situation and make lemonade”? Angle claims she’s a Christian. Tell me Bill, WWJD about Katrina? Would he have said screw you, as Angle would have by indicating she would have voted no spending any money? Angle, a person who is arguably alive today after having a tumor removed from her spine, with surgery that was covered by insurance. Using Angle’s viewpoint, insurance shouldn’t cover that because “I’m done having babies”. Well, Bill, you and I are both done having spinal tumors, so her surgery should not have been covered. Right? Her logic is infallible, right? You have to support her no matter what because she is GOP right? I have to agree with everything she says, or I’m a “outright liberal”, correct?

      Empathy isn’t a political issue. And those who lack it, in my book, are evil. Isn’t Jesus empathy personified? The only empathy I see coming from the GOP is for scared, rich, white people. Show me where I’m wrong.

      Consider my vote for Reid as my own personal Boston Tea Party. Like the clueless people that hold signs stating that they are a “tea bagger” while the world snickers, the rest of the world is laughing at the use of Tea Party name. The Boston Tea Party was a revolt against a monarchy. It was a revolt by people that wanted democracy. People that wanted a government for the people. That’s not what the GOP is today. See, Bill, you’ve made it clear, that if I don’t believe what you say, I’m not welcome. That’s not only a monarchy, it’s a dictatorship. But the GOP likes those too when it suits their needs. You can honest here Bill, you don’t like democracy do you? It scares you to think about being a minority, doesn’t it? I understand. 9/11 scared me too. But living in fear is not living.

      Now you are saying that if we “weren’t so busy covering all the illegals and their medical problems”, that “Obamacare” is OK? That there will be money for it then? Bill, you mistake me for someone looking for a handout. I want to use my private insurance. I still don’t get why you don’t get this. I don’t want the governments money, though I won’t speak for everyone. I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking care of people that need help. I can empathize with them. Can you?

      You are now also a (Google) Neurologist, an Endocrinologist, Immunologist, and a Psychiatrist. Outstanding! Thank for informing everyone that Autism is simple to prevent if I only did X, Y, Z. Please provide the evidence on all those subjects, Bill. For argument’s sake, let’s say that vaccines are the cause, or more specifically, the preservatives in the vaccines. Please tell me who is going to make the pharmaceutical companies stop using them? Are they just going to do the right thing and stop? They haven’t. They are still using it today, a preservative created in the 1930’s when people used to think ingesting Mercury could lead to longer life.

      Did we willfully expose our daughter to these risks? No, because nobody explained the risks. But we did get all five of them vaccinated. I’ll ask again, Bill do you have kids? Did they receive vaccines? Most people are totally unaware of Autism (like you have demonstrated so clearly) until it blindsides them. You are never advised against any risk of vaccination, other than a slight fever. So give me a break with the two minutes of research you’ve done on the subject. I’ve lived this every second of my life since her diagnosis.

      What if I told you Bill, that my daughter was completely normal and even spoke before she got the DTaP shot. What if I told you, that the “insert” that comes with all the vials of the shots, but not given to parents, actually had Autism listed as a side effect? Who is going to help me? GOP backs big business, and the Pharmaceuticals who have been protected by law from design defects in vaccines. Unless I can prove that the vaccine was given to my daughter even though she may have been pre-disposed genetically to Autism, I’m out of luck. So, let’s continue down this path you started by putting my daughter’s disorder squarely on my shoulders.

      Let’s say there are genetic markers that might prove your child is at risk. Who is going to make insurance companies cover those tests? Have you ever been offered this test Bill? No, you haven’t because Insurance won’t cover them. In many cases they won’t even cover the diagnosis, because if they did, they’d be admitting that Autism is real. But by all means, please continue to educate me with your vast knowledge on the subject.

      You see, knowledgeable people did address all of these issues with the Autism Insurance Reform Bill. A bill that received 100% bi-partisan support in Nevada. It stops the discrimination practiced by private insurance companies, and that’s a good thing right? Not according to Sharron Angle it isn’t. Sharron Angle’s whole platform is all about appeasing to a very small segment of society, she is not interested in helping anyone. Not with a job, not with health, and not with Education. You know she want’s to get rid of that too right? De-invest in education as we continue to lose more and more jobs overseas because the American workforce is basically incapable of anything but the service industry. That’s brilliant.

      And you end with a plea for me to stop using my kids for political points? Did I mention her name? Did I splash up pictures of her with no hair because she pulled it out because of the frustration on not being able to communicate? No, I didn’t. Maybe I should have.

      Tell me Bill, which political party started the recent trend of parading their kids in front of the media to show not only how family orientated they are, but also how tolerant they are despite continually voting down equal rights for American citizens. McCain and Palin were poster children for this. You are going to tell me that Trig wasn’t used to score points? That Palin’s pregnant daughter, once discovered, wasn’t used politically? That Cheney’s lesbian daughter wasn’t used as a vehicle to demonstrate the Tolerance of the GOP? Give me a break, and please check your facts before you try to belittle me.

      I know you believe that I have never been conservative, you are dead wrong. I also know you thought you were running up against a shill spewing propaganda for Reid, and that you’d stomp all over me with your superior intellect. It’s pretty obvious you haven’t. “You’re stupid and you just don’t get it” is a kindergarten answer, and I’m not one who gets bullied. Other than my personal choice of protest against Sharron Angle, everything I’ve presented you with is factual. You just keep throwing around insults, and FUD, then turn around and give back-handed compliments with religious connotations. You saying God bless flies in the face of every word you’ve written to me.

      Enjoy your life.

  11. Catherine said

    It would be better to educate Ms Angle (and all of the other people who have no idea what foolishness they are spouting) about what we deal with. I don’t think I would cut off my nose to spite my face. Government run health care will most likely mean less research, and less service. I think this gaffe was a good thing, in some ways. The Autism community is coming down hard on Sharon Angle. She will be forced to learn, along with anyone following the story. This type of ignorance will no longer be tolerated.

  12. Courtney said

    Thank you Craig for speaking out on an issue that touches so many. My son has Autism and Type 1 Diabetes. We have NEVER, outside of his initial diagnosis been able to use our health insurance (that we pay upwards of $800. monthly) to access ANY services related to his Autism. To date Applied Behavior Analysis has proven (if given intensivly at an early age) to reduce the long term cost of care by 2/3. That is so profound not only in saved revenue for the government, but for a parent it can mean the difference between a child speaking and not speaking, going out into the community and particpating, lessening the deficits and increasing functional living skills. I think what you have said resonates deeply….all the way to us in Pennsylvania. It’s no longer about party lines, it’s about human rights….I think when pressed we will all have to make a choice what’s most important. As a fellow parent that shares your burden of providing a lifetime of care for my child I chose THIS ISSUE as the most important fight of my life… well friend…stay in the fight….

  13. Wow! I would think a special needs child would require a little more of your time? Time you spend typing way-too-long responses to me. Bullet points, Craig. Bullet points. You started off so well and then…..blah, blah, blah…..zzzzzzzzz!
    “WWJD”??? Really??? Is that relevant?
    I hope your daughter gets dealt a better hand than you did. Boy, G-d must really have it in for you, huh? Stop playing the victim. See how short this response is? Try it sometime, blog-boy!

    • Again, Bill, you take the chance of being educated and spew back a moronic answer. It doesn’t take me long to type these responses, I’ve been dealing with people like you for the past three years.

  14. Joie said

    Giving you a standing O and telling everyone I know to read this. I’m not a fan of Harry Reid, but you better believe as the mother of a son and daughter with autism, I’m with you.

  15. Courtney said

    At a certain point in the process of raising a child with special needs you can stay in the bubble- which means for my family fighting yearly for funding for my son’s school- which only covers 75 percent of costs. The additonal $30,000 we work over 10 fund-raisers a year to make up the difference. Working your butt of behaviorally with your child so you can give them the best possible outcome based on all the scientific truths.Fighting the social stigma of taking your child into the community to teach them new skills. And for us my son also needs 8 shots of insulin a day. There was a time when fighting, providing care, and dealing with resulting stress was all I could handle. BUT, now I realize much of the stress could be lessened if I did not have to spend so much time and energy fighting for such basic service. So it boils down to , are you able to look at the big picture and realize that this inadequate system will perpetuate unless you step out of the daily hardships and speak up? I respect Craig for looking at the big picture and being adept enough to realize the horrible long-term ramifications it will have not just on our children but the world. 1 in 110 children, who will become adults that will need a lifetime of care, if they are able to access intensive behavioral programming at an early age it cuts the cost by 2/3. This epidemic is going to hit hard as these children age out of the educational system and need adult service……for what it’s worth making time to try to improve the world is better than watching bitterly.

  16. @ Craig: “It doesn’t me long to type these responses”????
    Apparently, it does.
    If someone doesn’t agree with you…..they’re a moron, right? You’re the one who keeps jumping through the hoops I set out for you!!!
    I’ve just been messing with you, dude. You’re obviously too narcissistic to notice when someone’s playing you. A blog??? Really?
    I suppose you have a pretty active twitter account too?
    Rock on, Liberal blog boy!!!!

    @ Courtney: I applaud your efforts and empathize with your struggle to raise a special needs child. Craig has posted this blog to further his political views. A person will never agree with everything a candidate says nor everything a political party stands for. I agree that autism aid and research should be very important to you. Elections are never about one thing. There are other issues at stake. Look past the warts, and vote your conscience. I will pray for you and Craig.

    • No, a moron is:

      * Someone who lacks empathy
      * Someone who won’t apologize
      * Someone who marginalizes a serious disorder with air quotes

      I’m not narcissistic at all, I care. Well played Bill…By “playing with me”, you’ve proven what?

  17. You corrected your typo?
    You are a narcissist, Craig.
    Post your message anonymously if you wish to make a difference and do not care about accolades.
    Playing the victim seems to be working for you, though. G-d has blessed you with a special gift. Maybe a little gratitude would serve you better.

    Let’s try and fix our broken healthcare system, not blow the whole darn thing up!

    • Oh, and before you blamed me and my wife for our daughter’s disorder. Now it’s a heavenly gift? I would never wish Autism on anyone. Perhaps you should visit one of your local Phoenix schools and ask to volunteer for a week in one of their Autism programs. At least then you’d have some ammo when you say I’m playing the victim. Stay classy Bill.

  18. Yes I fixed a typo/grammatical error. That makes me a narcissist? Thought it made me an editor. You just keep throwing sticks and stones, Bill. Are you ever going to explain why ending discrimination by private insurance is going to blow up the whole health care system? Especially a sector that is experiencing record profits? More FUD.

  19. Demonizing profits?
    You sure don’t sound like a Republican.
    Ending discrimination by private insurance companies will not blow up the system. ObamaCare will. Make your rant about insurance industry and not about candidates, Craig. That is what I’ve been banging you on the whole time. You refuse to see the Demicans/Republicrats are one and the same. You cannot single out one party as the cause of our country’s problems. Why do the Dems fight tort reform? Why are they not in favor of allowing insurance to be sold across state lines? There are problems on both sides of the aisle, Craig.
    Yes, Sharron Angle is an idiot if she thinks rape is okay and autism is a fictitious ailment. Harry Reid is an idiot, as well. Signing off on legislation that hides taxes against the middle class on page 887 of an 1,100 page bill, while sticking to his party li(n)e that the middle class won’t see a tax increase. Promoting the lies and the rhetoric of a president who is presiding over a financial crises and holding on to his ideaology instead of looking for other options. Obama is doing what Bush was criticized for (i.e. not looking at options or following the will of the people) and being given a pass. WTF?
    Yes, I watch FoxNews. I try really hard to watch Rachel Maddow and Hardball w/Chris Matthews. Yes, I lean pretty hard to the right. Do I agree with the entire GOP platform? Hell no!!!
    I sure as hell know that this country runs like crap when one party is in control of both legislative houses and the executive branch of government.
    You made this an attack on a candidate. If you’re so passionate about insurance reform, look at what both sides are doing to damage the system, not just one crackpot who has never spent a single day shaping legislation in this country. In my opinion, Harry Reid is alot more powerful, and therefore much more dangerous, than Sharron Angle will ever be!!
    No more screwing around, Craig. You and I are both much too intelligent to walk around with blinders on sucking down the Kool-Ade Washington keeps feeding us.

  20. BTW,
    I do volunteer with special needs children. My step-sister has a special needs child. Thanks for asking.

  21. Well, Bill, you are much more palatable when you stop the name calling. As a rule, I don’t generally discuss politics. About a month before the last election, I had to stop reading Charles Johnson’s LGF and watching Fox News. Too much twisting of the facts, from both sides. Too much anger. I did stop back by LGF a while ago and seems Charles was having a bit of a problem not being conservative enough.

    Regardless, I’d would venture to guess you’d enjoy having a beer with me and I’m sure we’d agree on many things.

    With regards to demonizing profits, I already said there is nothing wrong with being profitable. In my opinion, the insurance companies profits are ill-gotten. Not only for their refusal of coverage for Autism on the most part, but also for the hoops they make you jump through when you actually do receive a benefit. It’s about as pleasurable as combination of a root canal, a colonoscopy, a DMV visit, and a IRS audit. 😉

    I have asked you several time about kids. I wish nothing but the best for that child and your step-sister. Autism has changed my life, and in many ways it has made me a better person. But given the choice, I would have not chosen this path.


  22. I am sorry I was such a jerk earlier. I wish you and your family the best. Hopefully we can get the right balance in Washington to get us out of this mess??

    • Bill,
      Apology accepted. Believe it or not, I’ve been there. I decided to turn off the pundits after embarrassing my wife by belittling a family member who was quoting Chomsky (at a kids Halloween party nonetheless). I definitely think we’d all be far better off without the slant from the media. Getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, in my opinion, changed journalism for the worse and gave rise to sensationalistic reporting we see today from both sides.

  23. Amen!!!
    Preaching to the choir, my friend!

  24. Courtney said

    Bill and Craig,

  25. Courtney said

    Sorry Computer problem…..wanted to commend you both on rising above and resolving individual passionate views together.
    First time in a long time I feel hopeful for the American political climate. Never under estimate the power of the individual effect change.
    I am (forgive me ) proud of you both for finding a common ground, you set a fine example…….

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