"A bill to mandate insurance coverage
for autism treatment received a drastic makeover Thursday in the Utah Senate,
disappointing hundreds of parents who hoped they could soon afford the
necessary therapies for their children.
"In its original form, SB55 would have
required insurance coverage for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
About 18,000 such youth live in Utah, said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Brian
Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights.
"Realizing the measure lacked the votes to pass either
legislative chamber, Shiozawa pared it back Thursday, nixing the insurance and
confining it to expansion of a pilot program enacted last year. He is asking to
double participants to 500 and raise the age limit to seven. The current pilot
program tops out at age six."
"Mirella Petersen, mother of an autistic child and president
of Utah Autism Coalition, praised Shiozawa for his tireless efforts, adding
that thousands of parents were devastated to learn that SB55 could not advance
in its original form."
Utah is going to help 500 children with autism in the
state. It seems that everyone else is out of luck. I posted