Freitas' votes against
autism bills are worrisome
As a reader, constituent and someone who works with children with autism, I am extremely concerned about Del. Nick Freitas’ voting record against expanding and retaining health insurance coverage for the treatment of autism for children. This is against overwhelmingly bipartisan support for services that protect some of our most vulnerable children. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical for better outcomes when dealing with a lifelong disorder like autism, and I have seen firsthand the difference these services can make for children and families.
In February 2019, Freitas, R-Culpeper, voted against House Bill 2577, which increased coverage for diagnosis and treatment of autism in children older than age 10.
The House adopted the bill by a vote of 97-1-1 and Gov. Ralph Northam approved the measure.
A year later — in the early stages of the pandemic — came HB 1503, which ensured coverage, diagnosis and treatment of autism in policies, subscription contracts, or plans issued in the individual or small group markets. Again, the House adopted the bill in a similar bipartisan vote and the governor approved the measure. Freitas was the only opposing vote.
Freitas has stated he has an obligation to protect people who can’t protect themselves. It’s easy to make statements during a campaign but far harder to justify them when those statements in no way match the candidate's voting record. Denying coverage to vulnerable children only appears to protect for-profit health insurance companies. I can’t vote for a candidate who votes against children having access to needed health care. I’m voting for U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, who has made health care access a priority and worked to lower the cost of prescription drugs to benefit her constituents, not the for-profit health insurance companies.