Nick’s Law is Oklahoma Senate Bill 1
By Bailey Dabney, Publisher
CLAREMORE DAILY PROGRESS
December 4, 2008 December 04, 2008 04:19 pm
— With health insurance, most Americans can reasonably expect their plan to pay for treatments that heal them when they are sick.
After all, that’s what insurance is for. Our premiums are due and are paid even when we are not sick.
If your child is autistic you still pay the premiums, but don’t be expecting a whole lot of care. It’s been argued that illegal aliens get better care than autistic citizens.
With a little help, that may be changing. Nick’s Law, or Senate Bill 1, would stop insurers from denying necessary care for autistics.
Opponents say that insurance premiums would have to go so high that more Oklahomans would lose their health insurance.
The facts don’t support that argument. According the Bill’s sponsor, Senator Jay Paul Gumm (D, Durant), an actuarial study revealed a cost per policy holder of $1.66 per month.
Senator Gumm believes he has the bipartisan support and the votes needed to pass it in both chambers, if it will be allowed to come up for a vote.
In April, Tulsa Representative Ron Peterson blocked hearing of the bill in the House. Peterson used to make his living in the insurance business. The largest sector of his financial support came from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, both of which have seemingly waged war on the families of autistics for years.
He also blocked passage of Steffanie’s Law, a bill requiring coverage for certain cancer victims. Steffanie Collings, of Noble, died March 13th with $450,000 in medical bills.
Representative Peterson chose not to seek re-election after the current term, so his blockade should now be lifted.
If you believe that a health plan should not be required to cover treatments for Autistic patients, do you also believe that they should not cover cancer treatments? Apparently Rep. Peterson does. Would you support politicians who allow health plans discontinue insulin for diabetics? How about antibiotics for ear infections? Hernia surgery? Aids? What condition is next?
Claremore’s own Representative Tad Jones (R, Claremore) is now the House Floor Leader, an influential position to say the least. Our Senator, Sean Burrage has already pledged his support of Nick’s Law, and voted for it in the spring.
The ball will likely end up in Rep. Jones’ hands.
Will the former quarterback and new House Floor Leader exert his considerable influence or fumble? Let’s hope he gives Nick’s Law the chance to be voted on.
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