Autism coverage mandate wins Va. committee approval
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation that would require some employer insurance plans to cover treatment for autism has cleared a major legislative obstacle after years of failure.
The House Commerce and Labor Committee voted 15-6 Thursday for a bill to require firms with 50 or more workers and government employee health plans to cover applied behavior analysis.
Experts say it's the most advanced treatment yet for the developmental disorder when applied to children from age 2 to 6.
The scaled-back bill cleared the same panel where it had died the past three years under intense opposition to lobbies for insurance and business interests.
The bill sailed through this year after it picked up a powerful new ally: Republican House Speaker Bill Howell.
By BOB LEWIS AP Political Writer
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