SACRAMENTO (April 18, 2013) -- Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he will work for coverage of behavioral health treatment under the Medi-Cal Managed Health Care program and reiterated his commitment to a five-year extension of the state's 2011 autism insurance reform law.
Speaking at a Capitol rally for autism and other disabilities issues, Steinberg said, "While SB 946 is a proud achievement, it’s not nearly enough. This year we intend to fight to make sure all kids, regardless of whether they’re on public or private insurance, get the benefit of behavioral therapy. We must seek to include behavioral treatment for autism in Medi-Cal Managed Health Care to ensure children receive necessary and equitable services.”
Steinberg sponsored SB.946, the state's 2011 autism insurance reform law and has introduced a bill this year that would extend the current 2014 deadline to 2019. The new law has made intensive early autism treatment accessible to more than 12,000 California children while saving state taxpayers up to $197.8 million in special education costs, Steinberg said.
The “Stand Up, Speak Out” rally was hosted by Autism Speaks, the Special Needs Network, Inc., the Alliance of California Autism Organizations, and Center for Autism and Related Disorders.