Mental health advocates said Tuesday that bills mandating insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis and treatment should not have moved forward because they didn't include a provision extending the mandate to all mental health disorders.
Michigan Partners for Parity, a statewide coalition with more than 60 members, issued a press release soon after the three-bill package passed a state House of Representatives committee.
The group advocates for comprehensive mental health coverage, including autism.
"We don't understand why lawmakers won't consider all the facts on this issue," said Mark Reinstein, spokesperson for Michigan Partners for Parity and executive director of the Mental Health Association in Michigan.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, an outspoken proponent of the autism package, said Tuesday that parity advocates should get involved in the process by getting comprehensive legislation introduced.
But, he noted, adding parity to the existing autism package would likely cause the bills to fail.
Committee members Reps. Maureen Stapleton (D-Detroit) and Dian Slavens (D-Canton) offered amendments that would have expanded the scope of the mandates, but both were voted down.