If you keep an eye on Capitol Hill festivities, then you probably saw this week that congress has successfully pushed through a bill requiring health insurers to cover autism detection and treatment.

Not surprisingly, the bill hit resistant amongst Tea Party senators. Their argument “why not let the free market decide for itself what to cover” speaks volumes of their lack of awareness, empathy, and understanding of ASD – maybe better to just call it plain ignorance. The reason the free market can’t choose to cover ASD is because it is one of the most misunderstood and disproportionally studied disorders that exists. Health insurers have a huge blind spot and they know looking left or right will only cost them profits that are difficult to pass onto insurance plans. Over the past decade, the detection and treatment of ASD has been slowly creeping into physician fields requirements for new hires in areas such as Internal Medicine and Family Medicine, so I don’t see any reason to fret and marginalize this disorder as cherry-picking or “special treatment”.

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