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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nick's Law 2011

KOTV reports on the frustrations facing supporters of an insurance mandate in Oklahoma:

Twenty-six states currently have autism related insurance mandates. Representative Mike Brown wants Oklahoma to become number 27. That's why he wrote Nick's Law.

See map of states and current autism insurance mandates.

"We always want to be like the rest of the nation. Lets be at the forefront here and take care of our kids," said Brown.

Read Brown's bill.

His original version of Nick's Law called for an insurance mandate that voters would have to approve. It would force insurance companies to cover all autism related therapy, including occupational, speech, physical and behavioral, ABA. But, his bill was not heard in committee and when he tried to get the Speaker of the House Kris Steele to allow a vote on the floor, he refused.

"I know there's strong support for it with most legislators, across the aisle, there's strong support for it. But, the powers that be right now, I'm not speaking for why, it's just not happening," said Brown.

By powers that be, he's talking about Speaker of the House Kris Steele.

"I do not favor this particular proposal," said Steele.

Instead, Steele wants to give his autism bill, that passed two years ago, time to work.

"I really believe we ought to give the pilot program an opportunity to work before we do anything that's going to increase the cost of health insurance for all Oklahomans," said Steele.

Read Steele's bill