Several important bills have recently been passed

Several important bills have recently been passed by the Kansas House of Representatives:

1.The first bill provides health insurance coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The bill requires insurance companies to provide behavioral analysis therapy for young children who exhibit autism. This bill was a compromise hammered out between House members, autism advocates, and the insurance industry. No one got exactly what they wanted but it was a good compromise.

Coverage will include 1,300 hours of therapy every year from the time of diagnosis until age 4. After that, coverage will include 520 hours per year until age 12. I supported this bill as it has been proven that the earlier you initiate treatment for autism the greater the chance of success. Hopefully the Kansas Senate will concur on this legislation.

2. I supported legislation to raise the cap on non-economic damages (pain and suffering) for medical malpractice from $250,000 to $350,000. The cap on non-economic damages along with the Health Care Stabilization Fund has enabled Kansas to maintain stable professional liability insurance premiums for many years. In fact Kansas has been a model for other states when it comes to this issue.

In 2013 the Kansas Supreme Court upheld our cap in Miller V. Johnson. However the Court in the decision encouraged the legislature to consider raising the 20 plus year old cap. To prevent the cap from being placed in jeopardy it was necessary to pass this legislation. Without the cap professional liability premiums for health care providers could increase significantly.

This legislation will now be referred to a Conference Committee of the House and Senate.

It is an honor to represent the 77th District. I can be reached at 1-785-296-6989.