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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Autism in a North Carolina Senate Ad

In North Carolina, a group supporting Senate candidate Thom Tillis is highlighting autism:


At WRAL in Raleigh, Mark Binker reports:
One thing that's not mentioned amid the images of a cute and happy child, soaring music and b-roll cribbed from Tillis' campaign website: The bill in question never passed.
Early on, Tillis made autism coverage a signature issue in his U.S. Senate campaign, wearing an Autism Speaks pin in some of his early campaign ads. In particular, he pushed a measure that would require insurance companies to cover certain behavioral therapies.
That measure cleared the state House 105-7 in 2013, but it never gained traction in the state Senate. House lawmakers tried to attach the measure to a broader regulatory reform measure in 2014, but senators rebuffed that effort as well.

Senators said they feared that adding new coverage mandates would raise the cost of insurance for everyone.
Politically, the measure became a bargaining chip. It is not uncommon for leaders of either the state House or the state Senate to take a signature bill associated with top leaders of the other chamber "hostage" in order to win last-minute concessions. In this case, Tillis and other House leaders never had something senators wanted in exchange for the autism bill, so it simply withered on the legislative vine.

Carolina Rising describes its mission as spreading a positive message about Republican efforts in the state, and he sees the autism bill as a good news story despite its ultimate failure