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Friday, February 8, 2013

Will Iowa Follow the Michigan Model?

The Des Moines Register reports on a bill in Iowa:
A key state lawmaker on Thursday said he’ll ask the Legislature to set up a $6 million account to help treat Iowans with autism.
Rep. David Heaton, R-Mount Pleasant, told a legislative panel he wants to create a system similar to one approved in Michigan. Instead of merely mandating that insurance companies cover certain programs for autism patients, a bill he is drafting would allow the insurance companies to submit therapy receipts to be reimbursed by the state for the key services, while the money lasts.
“So it’s a mandate, but then again, it isn’t,” Heaton said. He and others suspect a pure mandate would be blocked in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Sen. Daryl Beall, D-Fort Dodge, also is pushing for legislative action.
Details of Heaton’s bill were disclosed as about 40 people, most of whom have children with the complex brain disorder, filled a meeting room at the Statehouse to call for action. They wore matching blue shirts that pointed out autism is treatable.