Autism insurance bill hung up in Missouri Legislature

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. | Legislation to require insurance coverage of autism suffers a setback that diminishes its chances of passage this year.

The Republican-led House Rules Committee on Thursday refused to send the bill to the House floor for debate, instead referring it back to its originating committee.

Democrats decried the move, especially since Thursday was World Autism Awareness Day.

Insurance companies have opposed the legislation, saying it could drive up the costs of premiums for everyone.

House Speaker Ron Richard says the bill lacks consensus and he may need to appoint a special committee to study the issue after the legislative session ends in May.

Senators endorsed their own version of an autism insurance bill last month, but that bill also is hung up in a committee.