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Wed June 10, 2009
House committee votes on autism legislation
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – A state House committee voted unanimously Tuesday to require insurance companies to cover autism treatment for Michigan's children.
There are an estimated one and a half million people living with autism in the nation. According to the U-S Department of Education the number of diagnoses increases by about 15 percent every year, making it one of the most pervasive developmental disorders in the county.
State Representative Kathy Angerer sponsored the legislation. She championed similar bills last year, unsuccessfully. But she says it's time to stop ignoring the nearly 14,000 Michigan families who pay out of pocket to treat their autistic children.
Angerer says more research needs to be done to find out why autism is becoming so prevalent, but the state must first take care of children already living with the condition.