U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) issued the following statement after working yesterday to secure inclusion of the "Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act" in the manager's amendment, approved by a voice vote, to the National Defense Authorization Act.
"Many American families, including those of my two nephews, face the challenges of raising a child with autism. The Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act will go a long way toward helping military families meet those challenges.
"Military families in Florida and across the country deserve access to the best care possible, but TRICARE limits have prevented military children with autism from receiving the care they need. This common sense amendment ensures that the children of our troops and military retirees get the best care available."
Under current regulations, dependents receive limited access to autism treatments, like applied behavioral analysis (ABA), due to the cap on the amount TRICARE may pay for these services on a yearly basis. The amendment clarifies that military dependents with autism and dependents of retirees have access to medically necessary behavioral treatments like ABA.
Rooney served as a military prosecutor in the Army JAG Corps and taught constitutional and criminal law and West Point. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.