House passes autism measure, sends it to Senate

Health insurers regulated by the state would have to cover treatment for autism under a bill that has passed the House and moved to the Senate.

Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst (R-Manchester) said during his opening remarks on the House floor that his bill would mandate the coverage of a wide range of disorders, called the autism spectrum disorder. HCS HB 1311&1341 passed the House Thursday on a 135-to-18 vote.

Scharnhorst took pains during his opening remarks to point out provisions to protect small businesses from any spikes in health care premiums due to the mandate. He noted that if a small business experiences a premium increase of 2 1/2 %, it could opt out of the mandate.

You can listen to longer version of Rep.Scharnhorst’s comments at Missourinet.com, but here’s the “money cut.”

AUDIO: Missourinet News Capsule :60

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