Senator Fuschillo: Governor Wrong to Veto Autism Insurance Reform Legislation

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

October 21, 2010

“I am extremely disappointed that Governor Paterson vetoed autism insurance reform legislation I sponsored, which was unanimously passed by both the Senate and Assembly, that would have helped individuals with autism get the care and treatment they need.

Right now, families are spending tens of thousands of dollars out of their own pocket every year to get care for their loved one with autism because insurance companies routinely deny coverage for these clinically proven treatments. Many have taken on additional mortgages, depleted their savings and retirement funds, destroyed their credit, or even sacrificed the college funds of their other children just to get care. In some cases, families don’t get that care at all because they simply can’t find a way to pay for it.

This law would have alleviated that tremendous financial burden on families by requiring private insurance companies to provide coverage for diagnosis of autism and for medically approved treatments for individuals with autism throughout their lifetime. More than 20 other states have similar laws.

No family should ever have to choose between going broke or not getting care for a loved one with autism. Sadly, because of the Governor’s veto, families will still be faced with that same painful and unfair choice.”