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  1. #1

    Default Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Oklahoma House committee kills autism mandate
    By The Associated Press
    Published: February 3, 2009
    Buzz up!

    OKLAHOMA CITY Legislation to require health insurers to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism was killed Tuesday evening by a state House committee that effectively blocked the mandate proposal from being considered in the House again for two years.
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    Instead, the Republican-controlled House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee unanimously approved legislation to increase the number of certified therapists for autistic children.

    Supporters said an autism coverage mandate would drive up health insurance rates in Oklahoma and that it is meaningless to consider one until there are enough therapists to do the job.

    "The discussion we're having today, in my opinion, is premature," said House Speaker Pro Tem Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, author of the therapist bill. "We're not ready for this kind of mandate because the services do not exist."

    "I don't believe that providing a promise without a solution is what we need," said the committee's chairman, Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa.

    Supporters of the mandate bill, known as "Nick's Law" after for an 11-year-old autistic boy from Edmond, Nick Rohde, argued that therapists will not move to the state to provide services to autistic children without a guaranteed revenue stream to pay them, like that provided by mandated health insurance coverage.

    "Without any help, we know where they're going to end up," said the bill's author, Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah, who said taxpayers eventually will have to pay for the care of dysfunctional autistic children.

    Autism is a bioneurological disability that affects communication skills in young children, many of whom also suffer from ailments such as allergies, asthma and epilepsy. Officials estimate it affects about one out of every 150 children in the U.S.

    Along party lines, committee members voted 10-5 against a motion to send the autism mandate measure to the House floor as dozens of autistic children, their parents and other family members crowded into House meeting rooms to hear discussion and debate on the autism bills.

    It then voted 9-5 for a do-not-pass motion that under House rules will prevent the mandate idea from being considered again until a new Legislature is seated in 2011.

    "The language is dead really dead," Brown said. "It cannot be heard for two years.

    "They wanted this off the plate," Brown said of House Republican leaders. "They did not want to deal with that."

    Autism mandate legislation was passed by the Senate last year but was blocked in the House. Similar legislation is pending in the Senate again, but Sullivan said he will not schedule a hearing on the bill if it reaches the House.

    After the meeting, some parents held photographs of their autistic children as lawmakers left the meeting room.

    "It was a foregone conclusion," said Wayne Rohde, Nick's father. "What are they telling us back there? That we don't want to help these kids to the level that we need to?"

    While Medicaid covers some services for the autistic children of low-income families and the wealthy can afford to pay, middle-income families struggle to afford behavioral and occupational therapies for their children. Rohde has said he spends up to $5,000 a month for therapy for his autistic son.

    "You're throwing those parents into bankruptcy," Brown said.

    Eight other states have passed the same autism mandate legislation and 10 states have similar laws, Brown said. Thirty-two states are considering a mandate to provide some relief to the families of autistic children.

    "And the best thing we can do is look them in the eye and tell them to move to another state?" asked Rep. John Carey, D-Durant, a member of the committee.

    "That's exactly what we're doing," Brown said.

    The mother of two autistic children, Dr. Juliet Burk of Tahlequah, said she left her practice in Oklahoma and moved in with family members in upstate New York where mandated therapies were provided at no direct cost. Therapies for one son cost $30,000 a year.

    "We left to find a funded infrastructure," said Burk, a self-described conservative Republican who said early and intense therapy for her children helped reverse their autism diagnosis.

    Brown disputed a study performed for the state House that said an autism mandate would increase health insurance rates by at least 7.8 percent and possibly as high as 19.8 percent.

    Brown said other studies, including one by the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board, concluded the cost would be 1 percent or less.

    http://newsok.com/oklahoma-house-com...adlines_widget

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Obviously, the conservatives want to send a message to potential parents in Oklahoma. If you don't expect to have enough money to take care of your kids, especially if they come down with severe illnesses then please don't have any children.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    ...but don't abort them either.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunty View Post
    Obviously, the conservatives want to send a message to potential parents in Oklahoma. If you don't expect to have enough money to take care of your kids, especially if they come down with severe illnesses then please don't have any children.
    That isnt a conservative message. That is a common sense message that appeals to everyone other than modern "liberals". If you can't afford kids don't have them.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Caboose View Post
    That isnt a conservative message. That is a common sense message that appeals to everyone other than modern "liberals". If you can't afford kids don't have them.
    Would you care to give me the definitive cost for raising a child so that I can pass that figure along to young couples who might be thinking about becoming parents?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    there are insurance companies in oklahoma already offering autism benefits even though the law doesn't mandate that all companies offer such coverage.

    -M

  7. #7

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    One doesn't have to have health insurance. I've said it before, we are a part of a bill sharing co-op that saves us money and makes dealing with doctors and hospitals much, much easier.

    It's almost a relief when we tell them we will pay up front and we have no insurance.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by luke
    one doesn't have to have health insurance.
    what's sad is that in the state of massachusetts, you are legally required to carry health insurance. if you are without coverage for, i think, three months then you can be fined.

    -M

  9. #9

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    Would you care to give me the definitive cost for raising a child so that I can pass that figure along to young couples who might be thinking about becoming parents?
    Its not my job to do your budgeting for you. And you know who else's job it isn't? The governments.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Caboose View Post
    Its not my job to do your budgeting for you. And you know who else's job it isn't? The governments.
    But you made it your job when you said that folks shouldn't have kids if they can't afford them. I'm just asking what you think parents should reasonably expect in the way of expenses. How can they determine beforehand whether they can afford kids or not if the upper limit is unknown? Given that criteria, nobody should ever have kids.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    But you made it your job when you said that folks shouldn't have kids if they can't afford them. I'm just asking what you think parents should reasonably expect in the way of expenses. How can they determine beforehand whether they can afford kids or not if the upper limit is unknown? Given that criteria, nobody should ever have kids.
    Liberal: I am gonna get a loan for a house that i cant afford and im gonna have some kids that i cant afford and once I run out of money I am going to ask the taxpayers to pick up the slack.

    Taxpayer: Well, you feel free to do what you want, but do not expect any financial assistance from me if you get in over your head.

    Liberal: Well then you need to tell me what I can afford and what I can't.

    Taxpayer: I am not your accountant. Go figure it out for yourself.

    Liberal: Nooooo. You said I shouldn't get things I cant afford, so now it is somehow your responsibility to do my budgeting and financial forecasting for me.

    Taxpayer: Um... no. You are responsible for yourself and figuring out what you can afford and what you cant. Its not my business and it's not the governments. It is NO ONE else's job to take care of you.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Just as I thought....all talk...no answers. No surprise there.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    Just as I thought....all talk...no answers. No surprise there.
    The answer is there you just refuse to address it. The problem is your underlying mindset that it is the government's job to take care of people. I mean listen to yourself. You actually think I am somehow responsible for the personal budgeting of all future parents because I don't want to pay for autism therapists.
    You do realize this isn't some kind of big commune don't you?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Caboose View Post
    The answer is there you just refuse to address it. The problem is your underlying mindset that it is the government's job to take care of people.
    Not at all. YOU'RE the one dodging the very premise you proposed. You said that people shouldn't have kids if they can't afford them. I'm just asking what that price tag might be. Under your conditions, that's the responsible thing to do, isn't it? It's like asking "How much house can I afford?" or "How expensive of a car should I buy?"

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Caboose View Post
    Liberal: I am gonna get a loan for a house that i cant afford and im gonna have some kids that i cant afford and once I run out of money I am going to ask the taxpayers to pick up the slack.

    Taxpayer: Well, you feel free to do what you want, but do not expect any financial assistance from me if you get in over your head.

    Liberal: Well then you need to tell me what I can afford and what I can't.

    Taxpayer: I am not your accountant. Go figure it out for yourself.

    Liberal: Nooooo. You said I shouldn't get things I cant afford, so now it is somehow your responsibility to do my budgeting and financial forecasting for me.

    Taxpayer: Um... no. You are responsible for yourself and figuring out what you can afford and what you cant. Its not my business and it's not the governments. It is NO ONE else's job to take care of you.
    Good lord, as a liberal myself, I see you are just totally out of touch on what liberals think.

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    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Caboose View Post
    That isnt a conservative message. That is a common sense message that appeals to everyone other than modern "liberals". If you can't afford kids don't have them.
    And as a news story stated conservatives also wish that parents with autistic children would move to those states where laws require insurance companies to cover them. I have certainly noticed that onservatives are good at making some people feel so unwelcome in this state with this including migrant Mexican workers(send them to Texas) and homosexuals(they should leave Oklahoma for New England or California.)

  17. #17

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    Not at all. YOU'RE the one dodging the very premise you proposed. You said that people shouldn't have kids if they can't afford them. I'm just asking what that price tag might be. Under your conditions, that's the responsible thing to do, isn't it? It's like asking "How much house can I afford?" or "How expensive of a car should I buy?"
    And I am telling you it isnt my job to go do financial research for you or to plan your budget no matter how many times you ask. If you want to know what you can afford go crunch the numbers yourself and if all of the other potential parents want to know what they can afford they can go crunch the numbers themselves too, or hire someone to do it for them. It isn't my responsibility nor is it the government's.

    Why does the idea of personal responsibility confuse you so much?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunty View Post
    Good lord, as a liberal myself, I see you are just totally out of touch on what liberals think.
    The scenario I posted is pretty much exactly what your fellow fake liberal just said. It is somehow always someone else's responsibility to do something for you.

  19. Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    Just as I thought....all talk...no answers. No surprise there.
    Cost of Raising a Child Calculator | Tools | BabyCenter


    At least $250,000 over 18 years. Probably more.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunty View Post
    And as a news story stated conservatives also wish that parents with autistic children would move to those states where laws require insurance companies to cover them.
    Insurance companies should be allowed to cover whoever they want. If you need one that covers some particular condition then go find one. If there aren't any that cover it, then it probably means it is not financially soluble for them to do so. If you think they are wrong then start up your own insurance company and cover it, no one and no thing is stopping you. This is a free market.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunty View Post
    I have certainly noticed that onservatives are good at making some people feel so unwelcome in this state with this including migrant Mexican workers(send them to Texas) and homosexuals(they should leave Oklahoma for New England or California.)
    Irrelevant.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    It's okay to say, "I don't know", Caboose. That's the real reason why you can't answer. You simply don't know. It's okay. Nobody does. Hell, I don't know how much it costs either. It has nothing to do with personal responsibility. None of us has a crystal ball to be able to know if we're going to have a healthy kid or one that will require a lifetime of medical care. Or whether our 6-figure Wall Street job with all the perks will suddenly go down the drain along with most of our prospects for being re-hired. Nor can we tell which kid will move out at age 18 and take control of his life or live at home until he's 50. We just don't know. And anybody who thinks they DO know is only kidding themselves. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and nobody knows why.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    It's okay to say, "I don't know", Caboose. That's the real reason why you can't answer. You simply don't know. It's okay. Nobody does. Hell, I don't know how much it costs either. It has nothing to do with personal responsibility. None of us has a crystal ball to be able to know if we're going to have a healthy kid or one that will require a lifetime of medical care. Or whether our 6-figure Wall Street job with all the perks will suddenly go down the drain along with most of our prospects for being re-hired. Nor can we tell which kid will move out at age 18 and take control of his life or live at home until he's 50. We just don't know. And anybody who thinks they DO know is only kidding themselves. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and nobody knows why.
    Whether I know or not isn't relevant. It's not my responsibility to find out for you or for anybody else. If you want to know or if the other potential parents want to know... then go find out. Again, do you understand personal responsibility?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by Caboose View Post
    Whether I know or not isn't relevant.
    When you start making statements questioning other people's ability to be parents, then what you do or don't know becomes very relevant. Otherwise, why should anyone listen?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    When you start making statements questioning other people's ability to be parents, then what you do or don't know becomes very relevant. Otherwise, why should anyone listen?
    Regardless of how much it costs to have kids, whether it is 10 dollars or 10 million dollars... should people who cant afford to have them go ahead and have them? You are making a completely irrelevant point. It doesn't matter what dollar amount you or I come up with, the point remains. If you cant afford kids dont have them. PERIOD.

    And another thing, you are completely missing the gist of this. I am not telling other people what they can do and what they cant do, I am simply telling you that I am not going to pay for other people's mistakes. If you want to have a kid you can't afford, I honestly don't care... but I am not going to pick up the slack in your bills. This isn't "questioning other's ability to be parents"... this is me taking care of me and you taking care of you.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Autism Mandate: Killed in House Committee

    Quote Originally Posted by caboose
    if you cant afford kids dont have them. period.
    in the context of this discussion, i think that your statement isn't entirely fair. nobody plans on having an autistic child or, for that matter, a child with any type of abnormality. are you really saying that if a person can't afford to raise a child with the most expensive disability imaginable, then they shouldn't have kids?

    -M

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