Autism in the fine print of health reform
You won’t find the word “autism” in the health care reform bill passed Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee. But cloaked in legislative jargon — and nearly hidden in footnote 18 on Page 22 of the measure — is a provision that would push insurers to pay for “behavioral health treatments.” The provision is strongly supported by Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. Only 15 states currently make insurance coverage mandatory for some autism treatments. The proposed $829 billion bill faces many hurdles. And insurance companies are mounting a major ad campaign in opposition to health reform. But the coming debate is one that will be closely watched — especially by those interested in treatment coverage for autism.