Sunday, May 25, 2008

Democrats seek hearing on autism mandate

5/21/08, 2:33 p.m.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Democrats in the Oklahoma Legislature want House Republican leaders to schedule a hearing on a bill to require health insurers to cover autism. Democrats met with the parents of autistic children at the Capitol Wednesday. The parents held photographs of their autistic children.

The Senate has passed a bill that would mandate coverage of the diagnosis and treatment of autism. But it's bottled up in a House-Senate conference committee and House leaders have not scheduled a vote. The measure's author is Sen. Jay Paul Gumm of Durant who says House leaders are perverting the democratic process by not scheduling a vote. Gumm says the measure would pass the House if a vote is held. House leaders say the mandate will drive up the cost of health insurance policies and make them unaffordable.

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