The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

December 3, 2009

In Our View: Reform we can afford

On Thursday, Gov. Jay Nixon said he is optimistic Missouri lawmakers will require insurers to cover therapy for autistic children.

Optimism aside, we agree that the therapy should be covered.

House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, has pledged to make it one of the first items for debate when the session convenes. Last year Richard held up the bill, telling the Globe that there was not enough consensus to take it out of committee. Apparently, sometime over the last year, lawmakers have come to realize that autism effects 1 in 100 children.

Paying for therapy treatment early in a child’s life gives those diagnosed with autism a chance at leading a full life. How do we know that? We’ve seen it firsthand at the Ozark Center for Autism here in Joplin.

Missouri’s legislation would require insurance plans regulated by the state to cover up to $72,000 annually of “applied behavioral analysis” for people under 21 with autism. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees could be exempt if they prove it would raise premiums by at least 5 percent.

The state insurance department expects the new mandate would increase premiums by less than 1 percent.

These are the type of health care reforms that, in our view, make sense. Treating a problem early on improves quality of life and saves millions of dollars that might have to be spent on rehabilitation later in life.

Some legislators, of course, will argue against this bill. We would invite them to spend a day at the Ozark Center for Autism.

We think it would change their minds.

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  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

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  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

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  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

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  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

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  • Rebecca French Smith, guest columnist: Amendment 1: Farmers are 'boots on the ground'

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  • Your View; Makes no sense

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  • Your View: Time value of money

     I was shaking my head along with Anson Burlingame (“Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years,” Globe, July 22), then he offered his readers a chance: “Go ahead — take your pick.”

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  • Your View: Boiling a frog

    We voters are now being urged to vote on Aug. 5 for Amendment 7 “to fix our roads, highways and bridges.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Our view: 'Yes' on 7

    Opponents of Amendment 7 say this: “Missouri families are already hard pressed to pay their bills during this period of slow economic recovery.”

    July 26, 2014

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