Monday, May 4, 2009
Gov. Henry signs autism services bill
The Associated Press
Published: May 4, 2009
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Gov. Brad Henry has signed legislation designed to increase the number of therapists who provide services to autistic children.
But Henry said Monday the measure is just a small step in the effort to help affected Oklahoma families. He urged lawmakers to pass legislation to mandate insurance coverage for the treatment of autism.
The bill calls for enactment of a licensing process for national board certified behavior analysts and enhancement of existing state programs that would train doctors to diagnose and treat autism.
But the governor says some people question whether it will actually produce significant new services if insurance doesn't cover the cost of treatment and parents can't afford to pay the bill.
Republican legislative leaders oppose insurance mandates and say they drive up the cost of health insurance.