Following is a statement by Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant, following an announcement by House Republicans that several interim studies will focus on autism. Gumm wrote “Nick’s Law,” which would have required health insurance to cover diagnosis and treatment of autism, a measure killed repeatedly by House Republican leadership.
“House Republican leadership is a day late to the discussion with these interim studies. While we welcome them – finally – to this discussion, I am deeply troubled one of their ideas is the failed notion of institutionalizing these precious children, ripping them from their families.
“Sadly, none of these studies will tell us anything we do not already know. It looks like they are throwing every half-baked idea they have out there in a feeble attempt to divert attention from their cowardly refusal to allow even a vote on ‘Nick’s Law.’
“We need to require that autism be covered by health insurance, and we need to provide more services to families with autistic children. All the studies in the world will not change that simple fact; I just wish House Republican leaders could understand that.”