Autism legislation could gain momentum in 2012


Governor Rick Snyder and Republican leaders in the Legislature say they plan to work on autism-treatment legislation in 2012. Michigan is one of 21 states that do not require insurance companies to cover autism treatments. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

Rick Remington is with Autism Speaks--a national advocacy group based in New York. He says the group is confident Michigan will approve autism-treatment legislation this year. He says autism-treatment coverage has become a bipartisan issue in many states, including Michigan.

"What these laws are intending to do is end the discrimination against families raising children with autism," he says. "They're paying thousands of dollars in premiums, and yet they receive no coverage."

In the past, Republican lawmakers in Michigan said they were concerned that requiring insurance companies to cover expensive autism treatments could drive up premiums. But now it appears GOP leaders and Governor Snyder would like to see an autism measure approved.