Legislation would help children with autism in Virginia

Daily Press

February 7, 2010

…Our autism crisis at present affects more than 14,000 children in Virginia.

We continue to work with our legislators to gain assistance for the families and children with autism by asking that insurance companies cover the cost of medically prescribed services for our children.

The House Labor and Commerce Subcommittee last Tuesday reached a 4-to-4 deadlock on HB303, a bill championed By Del. John O’Bannon.

The Senate Labor and Commerce committee will vote on SB464 this coming Monday. It is a similar bill championed by Sen. Janet Howell.

Both autism bills are modeled after bills that were enacted in Texas and Pennsylvania in the past few years.

These states have found they can provide the medically prescribed services to their children and create savings of between $187,000 and $220,000 per child in special-education costs over a three-year period. In Virginia the savings are estimated at $167,000 per child. With 14,000 children, that equates to $2.3 billion in savings.

Read the entire opinion piece.

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