Fight continues for Nick's Law

Monday, April 14th 2008, 11:10 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

Nick's Law may have died in committee, but the bill's author is not giving up hope. Sen. Jay Paul Gumm has a new strategy to get his bill helping autistic families signed into law.

Sen. Paul, D-District 6, turned the killed bill into an amendment which he'll attach to different bill and try to pass.

"This is a debate that needs to happen," said Gumm. "A discussion that we need to have and these families deserve to be heard."

If the new strategy doesn't work, at least one Oklahoman family plans to leave the state.
The Hall family drained their saving and cashed out their IRAs to pay for their son's autism therapy. Their son, Dougie, is improving thanks to the tens of thousands of dollars they have invested.

"He's responding beautifully, he's beginning to talk. He's beginning to come out of the dark world. We're so thrilled," said Caroline Hall, Dougie's mother. "On the other hand, we're not so thrilled about going bankrupt."

Dougie's autism therapy is not covered by health care, and the family said they can no longer deplete their financial resources like they have.

"We know there are other states where Dougie will receive his therapies and insurance will pay for them," said Hall. "We are people of education, we will simply move."

Eighteen states have passed laws like Nick's Law.

Opponents to Nick's Law worried health care mandates could cause the cost of insurance to increase.