KCUR News
10:13 pm
Fri August 7, 2009

Nixon Pushes Autism Coverage Legislation

Kansas City, MO – A bill that would have required insurance companies to cover the treatment and diagnosis of autism never made it through the legislature last session...but Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says that won't stand next year. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more.

Nixon told a group of doctors and families at Children's Mercy Hospital yesterday he's disappointed with what happened to an autism bill the Missouri Senate approved earlier this year.

NIXON: "Even after months of that hard work, an 8 to 1 vote out of the House Health Care Policy Committee, and a unanimous vote in the House Rules Committee, the bill did not get on the floor of the Missouri House for a vote yes or no. Quite simply, that was wrong."

Nixon says he wants to see future legislation passed that mandates insurance companies to cover autism treatments, caps services at about 50,000 dollars annually, and prohibits insurance companies from dropping people because they have autism.

Several Republican lawmakers and insurance companies have opposed a mandate because they say it would drive up the costs of insurance premiums.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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