Policies

E-03

Medicare Coverage for the Treatment of Autism

Passed

Moved by Liberal Party of Canada (British Columbia)

WHEREAS the rate of autism spectrum disorder (“ASD”) among Canadian children is 1 in 68 and rising;

WHEREAS Canada’s health care system currently excludes from coverage the recognized, science-based treatment for ASD called Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), despite the incidence of this neurological condition and advocacy from numerous citizen groups;

WHEREAS the BC Supreme Court, in 2000, found ABA was “medically necessary treatment” and “there were no effective competing therapies” and their decision was upheld in the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada;

WHEREAS funding for ABA for ASD is insufficient and varies between provinces;

WHEREAS the lifetime cost of an individual receiving inadequate treatment (or none) for ASD is reliably estimated between $2.4 and $3.2 million, excluding indirect costs to society;

WHEREAS the US Government requires all states to provide treatment for ASD as part of state-wide Medicaid programs and 43 out of 50 states require private health insurers to provide coverage for the ASD treatment;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Canada Health Act be amended to include Medicare coverage for Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or, alternatively, the Government of Canada work with all provincial and territorial governments to ensure inclusion of ABA for ASD within their respective Medical Services Plans

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Government of Canada provide funding to each province and territory to fully cover the costs associated with the provision of ABA treatment of ASD.