I know I said I would restrict my autism reports to my blog but this is to important for everyone not to be made aware of. With any luck the rest of the states will follow suit. Gov wants insurers to pick up autism costs 26,000 ILLINOIS KIDS AFFECTED | Plan would include diagnosis, treatment July 14, 2008 Using his power to rewrite legislation, Gov. Blagojevich proposed Sunday that insurers be required to pay for diagnosis and treatment of autism, a poorly understood disorder in children that can cost families their life savings. The proposal would give Illinois the most comprehensive guarantee of autism coverage of any state, said Mike McRaith, insurance director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. He said 26,000 Illinois children have been diagnosed with autism. "It's about protecting families who are doing what they are supposed to," Blagojevich said. "They're working. They're paying taxes, and they have insurance." Insurance policies would be required to pay up to $36,000 a year and to provide for an unlimited number of medical visits for autism patients until age 21. A few states have higher policy limits but severely restrict who is covered, McRaith said. Currently, limited coverage for autism in Illinois is obtainable only for some who hold large-group insurance policies. The governor's change in an amendatory veto would become law if three-fifths of the state House and Senate assent. Peter DiCianni, who has an autistic daughter, said insurers deny families coverage for the nation's most prevalent disorder among children. He said securing treatment for his 5-year-old daughter, Brianna, cost $80,000, forcing him to mortgage his home and raid his retirement savings. During a news conference at the Chicago Children's Museum, DiCianni praised Blagojevich for pushing "landmark legislation." Blagojevich added the autism language to House Bill 4225, which mandates coverage of physical therapy for people with multiple sclerosis in public employee health plans. The bill passed the General Assembly this year, while another measure on autism was caught in political cross fire between the governor and legislative leaders. Saying autism coverage is too important for bickering, Blagojevich said his amendatory veto has strong bipartisan support. The bill's lead sponsor, Republican Rep. Robert Pritchard, who represents the DeKalb area, consented to Blagojevich's maneuver. In his battles with the General Assembly over a $2 billion budget deficit, the governor vetoed extra spending for autism programs. He promised to seek other ways to fund autism research. Autism is an abnormality in early brain development that can render victims unable to speak or interact with others.