Sunday, January 3, 2010

Autism coverage redux

Disappointment doesn't even begin to describe the dashed hopes of families who had hoped earlier this year — for the second year in a row — that Oklahoma might join several other states in mandating insurance coverage for treatment of autistic children. House Bill 1312, "Nick's Law," was defeated in a House committee.

Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant, said of the panel's members: "They tore the Band-Aid off now quickly because they think they won't have to endure the public scrutiny for the next two years. I think that's a serious miscalculation on their part. These families aren't going away. These kids aren't going away."

To read the entire Tulsa World article, click here.

Gumm is back with two bills for the coming session. One in every 150 children struggles with autism, the fastest-growing disability in the nation. Without early, aggressive treatment, autistic children will continue to rely on parents and when those parents die, they likely will become wards of the state, a costly proposition.

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