North Carolina – Senate Bill 493 has been sitting in the Ways and Means committee since June 30th. One last push is being made by the Advocates for autism treatment to require health insurers to cover behavioral therapy.
Budget negotiations seem to be the main concern of the Senate before they take their legislative break, although it is hoped that this bill will be addressed. The bill has passed the House and is still waiting to be addressed by the Senate.
This bill began as a regulatory bill with regard to vehicle headlights and after going through the House it has ended up a health and safety regulatory bill. This will have a provision requiring insurers to cover behavioral autism treatment up to $36,ooo per year.
Lori Unumb, Vice President of state government affairs for Autism Speaks said in the NewObserver.com report:
“It’s (the session) definitely in winding down mode, and we’re just making sure that autism stays in the forefront of their minds,”
Keeping it alive and in the forefront will help the bill stay alive and not become lost in another change to the bill.
Principles like positive enforcement, learning theories and interventions at an early age make a positive change in the individual social skills of those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
A father , Tim Newman, who has raised 2 sons with autism, now aged 18, said that his sons greatly benefited from Applied Behavior Analysis when they were between the ages of 6 and 11.
“It helps them to be able to communicate … They can’t interact in social settings. It really helps them become mainstream members of society,”
The original article by Georgia Parke in the NewsObserver.com website can be read here