I strongly supported Miles Grant in the 2009 Democratic primary for the 47th House of Delegates district, but in spite of that, Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th) is rapidly becoming one of my favorite members of the Virginia House of Delegates. This autism legislation is a classic example of why that is case; great work Patrick! (also, thanks to Tag Greason and everyone else who worked to pass this; how could anyone be against it?)
Hope Applauds Passage of Bill to Extend Autism Benefits to Families
Legislation is a Significant Victory for Disability Community
Richmond – The Virginia House of Delegates voted today to extend health insurance benefits to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The bill, HB 2467, is patroned by Delegate Tag Greason (R-Loudoun) and Delegate Patrick A. Hope (D-Arlington) is a proud co-patron. A similar version is expected to pass the Virginia Senate ensuring it will be sent to Governor McDonnell for signature.
“Today marks a historic day in the Virginia House of Delegates and a significant victory for Virginia families with disabilities,” said Del. Patrick Hope.” Hope continued, “There’s nothing a parent wouldn’t do for their children and families shouldn’t have to go bankrupt to provide the necessary services for their children to thrive.”
The legislation limits coverage for children between the ages of 2-6, includes an annual maximum benefit to ensure health insurance premiums will see only a negligible impact, and is only applicable to employers with 50 or more employees.
Hope said, “While this legislation doesn’t go nearly as far as I would have liked, it is a significant step toward expanding coverage to help children with autism spectrum disorder become contributing members of our society, and to ease the financial burden on Virginia families.” Hope concluded, “Early diagnosis and intervention is proven to have profound, long-term effects and this legislation recognizes its importance. Children with autism will outlive their parents, making this legislation even more far-reaching that will not only positively impact the lives of children but will reduce future costs to the Medicaid program.”
Patrick A. Hope is a Member of the Virginia General Assembly as the Delegate from the 47th District representing part of Arlington County. He serves on the House Courts of Justice Committee and House Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee.