One of the three freshmen Senate Democrats is upset with a Senate committee — including a veteran Senate Democrat — that decided against discussing a bill that would have required insurance coverage for an autism therapy experts describe as the most effective.
Sen. Sara Kyle, D-Memphis, said she was disappointed no one moved to discuss the bill in the Senate Commerce and Labor committee.
"This is a sad day for families in Tennessee who are affected by autism," Kyle said. "I'm just real disappointed that we have a committee system, yet it seems like it's a pattern that some bills are not being heard and talked about..."
Most insurance companies, including state insurance providers, cover certain speech and physical therapies for autism, said Amanda Peltz, executive director with advocacy organization Autism Tennessee. But Kyle's legislation would've required insurers to cover applied behavioral analysis treatment, described by Peltz and other supporters of the bill as the best treatment.
Sometimes Republicans won't make a motion on a Democrat's bill, or vice versa. ButSen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis, is on the committee and one of only five Senate Democrats.
"He did not make a motion to move that. I would have thought he would have moved it out to have it heard, but you'll have to talk to him about his thought process," Kyle said