Search This Blog

Friday, March 1, 2013

Utah Mandate Bites the Dust, CA Moves on Affordable Care Act

Shortly after the Georgia legislature stalled a mandate bill, a similar bill in Utah bit the dust.  The Salt Lake Tribune reports:
A bill to mandate insurance coverage for autism treatment received a drastic makeover Thursday in the Utah Senate, disappointing hundreds of parents who hoped they could soon afford the necessary therapies for their children.
In its original form, SB55 would have required insurance coverage for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. About 18,000 such youth live in Utah, said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights.

Realizing the measure lacked the votes to pass either legislative chamber, Shiozawa pared it back Thursday, nixing the insurance and confining it to expansion of a pilot program enacted last year. He is asking to double participants to 500 and raise the age limit to seven. The current pilot program tops out at age six.
"It’s not my first choice," Shiozawa said of the substitute bill. "After conferring with House and Senate leadership — I don’t have the support of the insurance industry, and I frankly don’t have the votes for the bill in its original form."
AP reports on California:
 California lawmakers took the first step Thursday toward passing new consumer protections, such as guaranteeing coverage even with pre-existing conditions, under the federal health care overhaul.
Democrats in both houses of the Legislature passed bills dealing with individual insurance regulations that would prevent insurers from discriminating and overcharging customers.
The measures essentially add the Affordable Care Act to California law so state agencies have the power to enforce and regulate new individual insurance rules.
If you have a child who gets diagnosed with autism or born prematurely, you can get health insurance." Pan told lawmakers in the Assembly.