Conservative leader Stephen Harper and his party continue their longstanding and total neglect and lack of concern for autistic children and adults in Canada. NDP leader Jack Layton recounts the excellent work done by NDP MP Peter Stoffer, a true champion of autistic individuals and their families, but makes no commitment himself, or on behalf of his party, to help. Likewise Liberal leader Stephane Dion who actually voted for Liberal MP Shawn Murphy's unsuccessful motion to amend the Canada Health Act to provide ABA coverage for autism under Medicare has offered to talk to provinces and stakeholders to listen to their "concerns". Green Party leader Elizabeth May has, so far, been silent on autism issues.
In the US, by contrast, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich called lawmakers into special session to deal with a state Senate committee measure that seeks to require insurance companies to cover expanded treatment for autism, as reported in the Chicago Tribune:
It's the Senate's third attempt this year to approve the measure, which would require insurers to cover up to $36,000 a year and unlimited doctor visits until age 21 for people with autism spectrum disorders.
In Illinois Governor Blagojevich takes action to ensure funding for autism treatment. In Canada our federal leaders either ignore autism altogether or offer self congratulatory sermons with no commitment or action to back them up. I am sure Governor Blagojevich does not have Canada in mind with his determination to help autistic children and their families in Illinois but he does, by example, put our federal leaders to shame.