The Missouri House of Representatives today finally debated legislation that would require insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autistic children. House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, had promised the bill would be the first piece of legislation debated on the House floor during the 2010 legislative session; instead it was the 11th.
“Although parents with autistic children no doubt wish Speaker Richard had kept his promise, House Democrats are pleased to finally be debating the autism insurance bill,” said House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, D-Independence. “It’s too bad we had to wait a month and spend hours debating nonbinding resolutions, but at least we are finally working on this issue.”
During a Dec. 3 conference call with reporters, Richard promised the autism bill would be the first measure debated by the House this year, a pledged reported by numerous news organizations, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a Dec. 4 story.
Instead of the autism bill, HB 1311, the first legislation the House debated this year was a nonbinding resolution to Missouri’s congressional delegation on Jan. 19. That bill was taken up four weeks to the day prior to HB 1311.
The measures debated on the House floor before the autism bill, with the dates debated:
HCR 18 (Jan. 19) – Non-binding resolution on the federal health care bill
HCR 7 (Jan.27) – Tax commission resolution
HB 1442 (Jan. 27, Feb. 2) – Allows tax stacking
HB 1544 (Feb. 1, Feb. 2) – Extends unemployment benefits
HB 1377 (Feb. 2-4, Feb. 11) – Drug testing for TANF recipients
HCR 34 (Feb. 9) – Non-binding resolution on federal balanced budget amendment
HB 1540 (Feb. 10, Feb. 11) – Modifies laws related to infractions
HB 1497 (Feb. 10, Feb. 15) – Special elections for statewide vacancies
HCR 38 (Feb. 11) – Non-binding resolution on unfunded mandates
HB 675 (Feb. 16) – Manufacturing Jobs Act
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
House finally discussing autism after handling nation's problems
A release from House Minority Leader Paul LeVota notes that the House is finally discussing autism insurance, supposedly the number one priority of Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, after dealing with 10 other bills, including three non-binding (and unnecessary) resolutions on federal issues: