Paterson Vetoes Autism Insurance Bill

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    New York Gov. David Paterson listens to a speaker during a legislative leaders budget meeting at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.

    Gov. David Paterson has vetoed legislation that would require New York insurers to cover screening, diagnosis and lifetime treatment for autism spectrum disorders.

    The bill would direct state health officials to identify treatment and therapy options that are evidence-based, peer-reviewed and clinically proven that insurers must cover.

    Paterson estimates the state and municipal cost at $70 million annually, including higher health insurance premiums. He says Thursday he'll sign the measure if legislators send the bill back with a designated source of funding.

    Supporters say it would expand coverage for accepted approaches like routine toddler screening and speech and behavioral therapy. Opponents say it would give insurers standards to use in rejecting other treatments.