How typical of the Texas Association of Business.
Parents of children with autism cheered when Texas lawmakers revived a dead bill they say will give families hope, save some from bankruptcy and reduce long-term costs for taxpayers.
But the Texas Association of Business wants Gov. Rick Perry to veto House Bill 1919 because of an amendment that changes the definition of autism from a mental illness to a neurobiological illness and requires insurance companies to cover treatment for 3- to 5-year-olds with the disease.
The autism-insurance measure passed the Senate but languished in the House until lawmakers approved it as an amendment to insurance-related legislation just hours before the legislative session ended May 28.
"Somebody finally heard us," Cynthia Singleton of Houston said after legislators approved the amendment. "Parents have been struggling for years to be heard and, I think, somebody finally cared enough to help make it happen."
Singleton said she and her husband have spent more than $100,000 on treatment for their 8-year-old son with autism. They financed the treatment by selling a four-bedroom home in West Houston and renting a three-bedroom apartment for more than two years.
Perry spokesman Robert Black said the governor and his staff have not decided whether to veto the bill.