Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley signed a bill into law Wednesday that will require insurance companies to cover childhood autism treatments.
Calley got to sign the measure because Governor Rick Snyder is out of the country.
The lieutenant governor signed the bill to the applause of families and activists who’ve spent years lobbying for the coverage mandate. The issue is a personal one for Calley, who has a daughter with autism. He says early treatments help autistic children grow up to be self-sufficient and will save taxpayers money on special education and public assistance.
“This is an amazing intersection where the fiscally responsible thing to do and the morally responsible thing to do are perfectly aligned,” he says.
Calley says there will also be more and better services for families now that autism specialists know their services will be covered.
He says the administration has not taken a position on extending the coverage mandate to other mental health conditions.