Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) and Assemblyman David McDonough (R-North Merrick) recently attended the annual “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” at Jones Beach. Over 32,000 individuals participated in the walk to raise awareness and funds for research which aims to find a cure for autism.

     Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman McDonough thanked the walkers for their efforts and congratulated Merrick resident Michael Giangregorio, who once again served as the Walk’s Chairman, on the most successful event yet. The walk is the largest in the country, according to Autism Speaks.

     Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman McDonough have long been supporters of families with autism. Senator Fuschillo authored a law, supported by Assemblyman McDonough, which will give individuals with autism the same access to medical treatments as everyone else. The law, which takes effect November 1st, requires commercial insurance plans to provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism. They will also no longer be allowed to terminate coverage or refuse to renew, change, or issue a policy solely because an individual has autism. The law will help prevent families with autism from having to spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on treatments and therapies because insurance companies refuse to provide coverage, as well as save taxpayer dollars by reducing Medicaid, early intervention, special education, and other costs.

     Senator Fuschillo (center) and Assemblyman McDonough (left) are pictured at the walk with Michael Giangregorio (second right), his wife Alison (right) and Jeanine Pepler (second left).