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Friday, March 2, 2012

Michigan Insurance Legislation Hearing

Deena Centofanti reports at WJBK Detroit on a Michigan State Senate hearing on SB981:
"[My daughter] was not diagnosed until she was seven. We have many lost years and a lot of wasted money as I tried to chase what I thought was the right therapy not knowing where to go," said Dave Meador.
He is the executive vice president and CFO at DTE Energy. His daughter is now 14, but he joined this fight for autism insurance reform because he says it's the right thing to do.
"For a lot of us that are working on this, this is for the next generation," Meador told us.
Autism advocates have been fighting for this change for years. In the past, Republicans have fought mandating insurance coverage, but Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville came up with the reimbursement plan.
"The state government is going to fund paying for this coverage ultimately, but over the long run, the reduction in costs to taxpayers will be what this is all about," he said.
For families that have sacrificed so much for their children, it's long overdue.
Although Governor Rick Snyder supports the legislation, state mental health advocates oppose it. They say the bill is too narrow and should include mental health treatments in addition to those for autism.
A vote is expected to come next week after more testimony. The package of bills would then go before the full Senate for a vote. If approved, the legislation moves back to House where it passed previously.
Governor Snyder has indicated he wants the bill on his desk so he can sign it by April 2, which is World Autism Day.