Autism bill passes the Senate
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Autism bill passes the Senate

Date: February 3, 2010
By: Emily Coleman
State Capitol Bureau

Intro:  Missouri's Senate passed for the second year in a row a bill that would require insurance companies to cover autism.
RunTime:  0:40
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Despite a majority vote, debate moved slowly Wednesday.

Opponents like Senator Luann Ridgeway, a Republican from Smithville, argued that the mandate would increase premiums and cause small businesses to drop insurance for their employees altogether.

Actuality:  RIDGE2.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: That we would have people who now have insurance that would have zip, zero, nada. And I know that's a concern that you continually try to balance, you know, who's going to lose insurance as opposed to who's going to get coverage and no longer have to pay out of their pocket.

The bill passed with a waiver for small businesses affected by autism coverage by more than two and a half percent over one year.

From the State Capitol, I'm Emily Coleman.

Intro:  The Senate passed for the second time an autism bill that looks to close a loophole in insurance coverage.
RunTime:  0:29
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Bill supporters said insurance companies should treat autism like any other neurological disease.

Senator Jason Crowell, a Republican from Cape Girardeau, said insurance companies already pay thousands of dollars to treat conditions like Alzheimers.

Actuality:  CROWELL.WAV
Run Time:  00:05
Description: I know many people have gotten up and called this a mandate; what I call it is a correction.

Some critics say the mandate will cause insurance premiums to increase and will cost the state money it doesn't have.

From the State Capitol, I'm Emily Coleman.

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