The campaign to require Michigan health insurers to cover the cost of treating children with autism is getting an 11th-hour boost from the man who will assume the office of lieutenant governor Jan. 1 - state Rep. Brian Calley, R-Portland.
Calley, whose 3-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with autism, is scheduled to meet with the Republican caucus in the state Senate when members return this week to the state Capitol. He is urging the Senate (where he will be the presiding officer beginning in January) to approve autism legislation adopted by the House in 2009.
But Calley is not speaking for the administration of Gov.-elect Rick Snyder, who is not taking a position on the legislation, a Snyder spokesman said last week. And the legislation, opposed by a broad range of business and labor organizations, remains a long shot for final action in the lame-duck session scheduled to end Thursday.
Twenty-three states have autism insurance legislation on their books, including neighboring Kentucky and Pennsylvania, according to Autism Speaks.
Thirteen states and Washington, D.C., have or have endorsed autism insurance bills before their legislatures, including neighboring Maryland, Ohio and Virginia. Virginia's failed.
West Virginia is among the nine states with bills awaiting introduction or endorsement.
Five other states are not working on autism insurance reform, according to Autism Speaks, a nonprofit autism research and advocacy organization founded in 2005.