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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Insurance Action in the States

In New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports: 
The Senate has voted to keep insurance mandates for midwives, autism services, hearing aids and bariatric surgery — for now.
Senators voted 19-5 to recommend House Bill 309 for further study. The move prevented a vote to pass the bill.
In a passionate debate ahead of the vote, opponents of the bill said it was wrong to force people to pay out of pocket for hearing aids and autism coverage, which can be costly. In addition, they noted that a midwife-assisted birth is generally less costly than a hospital birth.
Supporters, however, argued that every mandate made insurance more expensive for everyone, and for some, unaffordable.
The Kansas Health Institute reports:
After lengthy debate that went into the evening, the Kansas House today endorsed a bill that would require that insurance companies cover autism disorders.

House BIll 2764, as amended during the floor debate, also would require autism coverage by the state's HealtWave program. HealthWave covers children in the Kansas Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance programs.
Estimated cost of the HealthWave provision was about $26 million, with about $12 million of that coming from the State General Fund. The balance would be covered by federal Medicaid dollars.
Some opponents of the measure argued that the annual cost to the state and federal governments could reach $57 million. More precise estimates of the cost weren't available to members when they voted on the measure and some cited that lack of information as good reason to send the bill back to a committee for more study.
A motion to do that however, failed by a margin of almost two to one
Video of floor discussion of the Iowa mandate legislation: