PITTSBURGH, July 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday in a historical and unprecedented move, the Pennsylvania legislature voted nearly unanimously in the affirmative for House Bill 1150 to mandate commercial insurance companies to cover some services for children with autism. The bill, introduced by House Speaker Dennis M. O'Brien, requires insurance companies to cover up to $36,000 of autism-related treatment for individuals less than 21 years old.
Autism Speaks, a national organization that conducts fundraising for research, and their paid lobbyists from Ikon, Inc., made several back-door concessions on the bill without the consent of Speaker O'Brien.
In nearly one full week of roller-coaster negotiations with the House Banking and Insurance Committee, headed by Senator Don White, the bill was stripped of all useful language, leaving Pennsylvania children with autism vulnerable to denials of coverage. House Speaker O'Brien, along with Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and Secretary Estelle Richman of the Department of Public Welfare joined in condemning the gutting of the bill.
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