Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All the finger crossing worked!!!

Way to go everyone that sent good thoughts (or called your Senator/Representative) to Jefferson City!! This afternoon, with only 2 days left in the session, the Missouri General Assembly passed HBs 1311 & 1341! Insurance providers will now be required to provide diagnosis and treatment coverage, including up to $40,000 of ABA, to children up to 18 years old. This is a huge step for our state, the families, and most importantly the children that will benefit. After 3 years of persistence, a special panel, and lots of testimony on both sides, HBs 1311 & 1341 outline the strongest legislation proposed to date on this issue in our state. Way to go to the champions of this issue: Reps. Scharnhorst, Cooper, Grill, and Jones and Sens. Rupp and Schmitt, among many others.

Listen to what these champions had to say before the final vote was taken:
Rep. Scharnhorst
Rep. Cooper
Rep. Grill
Rep. Jones

Sunday, May 9, 2010

If the votes are there, so is the Governor's support

As declared by Gov. Nixon in a December 2009 press conference, this was supposed to be the year Missouri passed autism insurance reform. It seemed like the stars had aligned with support also announced by the Speaker of the House and continued previous support from senate leadership. The strongest bill yet in the three years of efforts was drafted after recommendations made by the specially appointed House committee.
It is always nice to know the governor is behind an initiative so that there is comfort in the fact that if the votes are favorable in the chambers, there is no question it will be signed into law. With only one week left for the House and Senate to come to an agreement on a bill, chances for reform may be small, but not impossible.

News article covering the December press conference

Disaster in the details

It has been a while since my last post due to the fact that is has been a while since anything new took place with the autism bills in Jefferson City.... On Wednesday, Julie and I visited the capital and spoke with the Chairman of the Healthcare Policy committee about the bills. Although the HB was not assigned to this committee this year, Rep. Cooper has still been very involved in the efforts. Unfortunately, the detail differences between the house and senate bills have not been worked out and as a result, two good efforts at reform will likely produce no results. With only one week of the legislative session left, last minute efforts are now focused on amendments to add small pieces of the reform bills on to other and hope they will not be the straw on the camel's back that kills the omnibus bill. Keep your fingers crossed!