The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 23, 2009

In our view: Equity in coverage

Parents whose children have muscular dystrophy rely on their health insurance to assist in making sure their child gets the care he or she needs. The same can be said for the parents of children with juvenile diabetes, leukemia, or hearing or vision disorders.

That same assurance isn’t there for parents of children diagnosed with autism.

But, on Thursday, Missouri moved a step closer to making that happen. The Senate passed legislation requiring some insurers to provide coverage for treating children with autism.

According to The Associated Press, the legislation would require group health insurance plans to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism for children younger than 18, beginning in 2010.

It specifically would require coverage for a costly type of treatment known as “applied behavioral analysis,” which some parents say is particularly helpful for their autistic children. Insurers would have to cover up to $55,000 annually for such treatment for children younger than 15.

Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, who voted in favor of the bill, said his decision was based on the premise of right and wrong.

“When there are actual medical conditions that require care, I’ve never been of the opinion that it’s right to exclude coverage for certain medical conditions.”

Nodler said that objections to the bill are linked to fear that it will drive up insurance costs.

“I can’t say absolutely that it won’t, but that should be a separate issue. Bottom line, it’s the right thing to do.”

Paula Baker, chief executive officer of Ozark Center of Joplin, which serves as the overseeing agency for Ozark Center for Autism, said in the 11 states that have passed the same law, insurance costs have gone down because the early intervention saves money later.

“Autism is treatable. When treated early, a child can grow up and go to school, go to college, get married. Why shouldn’t insurance cover that treatment?” she said in a phone interview with the Globe.

The Senate passed the bill 29-2 on Thursday. The bill now goes to the House, where a separate version has stalled.

We applaud the Senate for doing the right thing. We would ask our state representatives to pass this legislation, so children with autism receive the same health coverage afforded to others.

Text Only
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Lone holdout

    Missouri continues to be the only state in the United States that won’t allow a prescription drug database to be established.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anson Burlingame, guest columnist: Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years

    Does anyone recall the major economic argument during the 2000 presidential campaign between George Bush and Al Gore?

    July 22, 2014

  • Our View: Vote no on Amendment 1

    Proponents of Amendment 1 — the Right to Farm Act — have not made their case. We’ve met with advocates of this amendment to the Missouri constitution and listened to their arguments, but we don’t believe they have adequately answered the central question: Who is it protecting, and from what?

    July 13, 2014

  • Your View: Amendment 5 is deception of the highest order

    Amendment 5, sponsored by Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, “relating to the right of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms” provides that “any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: No time to turn away

    With the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine and fighting that has now escalated to a ground war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it would be easy for most U.S. citizens to throw up their hands and turn their backs.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Power to defend

    The Globe’s editorial ‘More guns not the answer’ (July 15) was saturated with classic progressive blather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: Thanks for the generosity

    Generally, all we hear about is the bad news, and obviously, there is plenty available. Our church felt this event worthy of public knowledge.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: How to upgrade your business

    Let’s see now. When some folks wish to improve the exterior of their properties and have other taxpayers pay for the improvements, they create a community improvement district.

    July 21, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our view: Street smarts

    If your daily commute has been shortened because you no longer have to wait at 26th Street and Connecticut Avenue for a train to pass, thank your own tax dollars.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Decision fails test

    With the announcement that the State Board of Education has decided not to release individual school test results because of cyberattacks and other problems this spring, educators are scratching their heads, as are taxpayers who footed the bill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
NDN Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment