Oklahoma City, OK— Advocates from across the state joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to push for HB2962 yesterday at the Capitol in Oklahoma City. The recently introduced legislation would require medically based care for individuals with autism Advocates will also be recognized in the House and Senate galleries for their efforts.
Without the reforms in HB2962, many Oklahomans will continue to face moving to other states to gain access to basic, evidence-based care for their family members with autism. If passed, Oklahoma would join 43 other states, including all states bordering Oklahoma, to pass legislation requiring coverage for individuals with autism.
Momentum for advocates continues to grow after securing 24 co-sponsors. Advocates and lawmakers have both expressed optimism at the growing momentum and collaboration.
“I think we're in this pretty healthy mode of give and take so that whatever we come up with doesn't make a huge increase in insurance premiums or water down the bill to the point it's not of practical benefit to the families who really need it,” State Rep. Jason Nelson (R) said
Advocates have also been making their voices heard on Twitter supporting autism insurance reform in Oklahoma. Join the conversation:
The efforts have attracted significant local attention, including a powerful OpEd
in the Journal Record advocating for autism insurance reform and a special report
by Tulsa's News on 6 which followed the Ryan family meeting with lawmakers and making their voices heard on HB 2962.
If Charlie had cancer or Cystic Fibrosis he would be able to get a lot of treatment,” parent and autism advocate, Autumn Ryan said in the report. “Now he's not able to get his basic treatment, he's not able to get disability because this wasn't a disability at birth." Ryan added, "The legislators really need to see what we're dealing with and how our children need our help."
If you want to get involved advocacy efforts in Oklahoma or in your state, be sure to sign up for autism votes here.