Arkansas Cigarette Tax To Help Autism Community

>> Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Arkansas has a good idea when it comes to the cigarette tax. How about using it for an autism program. sounds perfect and that will generate 1.5 million a year. That is great. Gov. Mike Bebee sign into law money for autism funding, over an 86 million dollar tobacco tax. It would provide treatment for up to 100 children at a time who need extensive treatment for 6 months to 3 years. It is just a start for the program, but hopefully more funding will be available. Gov. Bebee stressed that the spreadsheet for the office said that it would not contain any Medicaid matching dollars for the autism program.

According to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 10 states have Medicaid programs specifically designed for autism treatment. They are Indiana, Maryland, Wisconsin, Colorado, South Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Montana. There are eight states with such requirements according to the task force: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.

It would be really nice to have something in Mississippi for autism children. We have our therapies and that is great, but we are not able to have special schools for these children. We have little resources for autism in Mississippi, and something should be done here as well. We need more DAN doctors available, and more efficient programs. Some Applied Behavior Analysis treatment wouldn't been so bad either. Hopefully one day we are able to receive the same treatment that comes lightly to others.

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