Friday, February 25, 2011

Trying to Get Nick’s Law on the Ballot

Filed by Michael Cross
February 24, 2011
KOSU Radio

Supporters of legislation to require insurance companies cover children with autism are upset by a move by the State Speaker of the House that they say will kill the bill.

Supporters of Nick’s Law say the House Speaker moved HB 1624 from the Insurance Committee to the Rules Committee in order to stop it from moving forward.

The bill’s author, Representative Mike Brown says the bill which would have put Nick’s Law before voters was expected to get a fair hearing before it was moved.

“We would have been able to present facts from most every other state save I think three or four other states that have not passed legislation such as this that would actually give children coverage with insurance on this issue.”

House Speaker Kris Steele says since it’s going to a vote of the people it belongs in the Rules Committee.

But, he also admits a program to provide more doctors, treatment providers and therapists just started in January.

“I’m in favor of giving those reforms an opportunity to work before we go down the path of pursuing an insurance mandate that in my opinion will increase health insurance costs.”

Representative Brown says if Nick’s Law doesn’t get a hearing than maybe supporters should look into the initiative petition process to bypass the legislature.

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