Autism bill blocked by Speaker of the House.
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Autism bill blocked by Speaker of the House.

Date: April 7, 2009
By: Chance Seales
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 357

Intro: The Missouri Speaker of the House admits Tuesday to blocking a bill requiring insurance companies to cover autism.

Chance Seales reports from Jefferson City.

RunTime:0:46
OutCue: SOC

Republican Speaker Ron Richard is the one who stalled an autism bill , killing it in the House. 

Earlier in the day, several House committee chairmen pointed fingers at who was responsible for the casualty.

Finally, the Speaker's communications director, Kristen Blanchard admitted the House will not be taking up the bill at the direction of Richard.

Actuality:  BLANCH1.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: "He thinks we need to work harder and find a more effective solution. And it's not that this was...basically we need to work on healthcare first, and that's not done.  And they kind of go hand in hand." 
 

Previously, all signs pointed to a bill passing the legislature and the House Health Care Policy Committee chair says he was surprised and disappointed the bill was blocked. 

From the state Capitol, I'm Chance Seales.


Intro: The Missouri Speaker of the House is responsible for killing an autism bill previously expected to pass.

Chance Seales reports from the state Capitol.

RunTime:0:58
OutCue: SOC

Republican Speaker of the House Ron Richard decided to block a House bill requiring insurance companies to cover autism treatment.

That's according to his spokesperson.

Families have made weekly trips to the state Capitol, testifying before health committees telling lawmakers about the importance of covering major autism treatments.

Until last week, most members believed the bill would pass without much of a problem.

Then it was blocked in the House Rules Committee at the direction of Speaker Richard.

Rep. Sara Lampe of Springfield introduced several autism coverage bills and expressed disbelief that the Rules Committee Chairman would block the measure.

Actuality:  LAMPE1.WAV
Run Time: 00:11
Description: "I can't possibly imagine why he would not want to support families with children with autism spectrum disorder.  Why he would not want to support children.  why he would not want to support classroom teachers and our schools."

Richard's communications director said autism may come up at a later date, but is not on the agenda for now.

From Jefferson City, I'm Chance Seales.