Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Enid Eagle Editorial

Published: May 19, 2008 11:44 pm print this story email this story

Lawmakers should give Nick’s Law consideration

Oklahoma lawmakers are receiving quite a push from parents and family members of children suffering a spectrum of autistic illnesses to require health insurance to cover autism.

Oklahoma is not the only state considering such legislation, and family members of these children are not deterred in trying to make lawmakers see the light.

Here in Oklahoma, they’ve lobbied the Legislature, they’ve taken out ads and they’ve testified to whoever will hear them about the financial demands on families with autistic children.

It’s a heart-wrenching, passionate story. And, what seems to be apparent, it’s a story that more and more people are becoming familiar with as physicians understand better the many aspects of autism.

In Oklahoma the legislation, sponsored by Democrat Sen. John Gumm, is called Nick’s Law, for Nick Rhode, the autistic child of Wayne and Robyne Rhode of Edmond. The legislation seeks to end the gap in insurance coverage for children with autism. It would require insurance companies to cover essential services for individuals with autism.

According to proponents of Nick’s Law, the cost of adding this coverage would amount to around $1.70 for single policy rates and $4.59 for family rates.

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