Autism Society of America’s “Day on the Hill”

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We sent our Administrative Coordinator, Jacquie Benestante, to the Autism Society of America’s “Day on the Hill” Advocacy Conference last week from February 15-17th in Washington D.C. Autism Society affiliates from all over the country were educated on a number of legislative issues affecting adults and children with autism and their families.

The Autism Society of America encouraged the need for bipartisan support on key legislative priorities including Medicaid, retaining provisions under the Affordable Care Act, and protecting the rights and needs of students receiving special education services.


  • Requires bipartisan support to protect Medicaid from cuts and structural changes that would impact children and adults with autism
  • Ensure Medicaid is not block granted or changed to per capita caps that would open the door to federal budget cuts and allow states to change Medicaid funding and reduce eligibility and benefits for people with disabilities, including autism

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

  • Ensure the needs of children and adults with autism are protected under potential replacement or repeal of ACA
  • Safeguard health insurance so that it is affordable, comprehensive, and does not discriminate against people with health conditions or disabilities, such as autism
  • ACA is not repealed unless there is a simultaneous replacement with a plan that maintains or improves existing coverage and access, and includes coverage for pre-existing conditions and the ability for young adults to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26


  • Fully fund IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) and protect the rights & remedies afforded to students under IDEA
  • Ensure that ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) regulations create a strong accountability system that allows states, districts and schools to raise achievement for all, including students with disabilities

After a day of issues training, Autism Society affiliates met with legislators from their home states to discuss the legislative priorities. Jacquie met with staff from Senator John Cornyn & Senator Ted Cruz’s office, as well as staff members from the offices of Representative Jodey Arrington, Representative Kevin Brady, Representative Kenny Marchant, and Representative Sam Johnson.

Are you one of an estimated 400,000 Texans affected by autism? Please let your U.S. Senators & U.S Representatives know how these issues affect you or your family. Use the links below to email or call and let our Senators and Representatives know how these legislative priorities affect you or a loved one with autism.

Contact your U.S. Representatives: 

Find your U.S. Representative 

Contact your U.S. Senators:

Senator John Cornyn


Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-2934

Central Texas Office: 512-469-6034

Senator Ted Cruz


Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-5922

Central Texas Office:  512-916-5834

For questions or more information about legislative priorities, please contact