GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Significantly increasing funding for autism research and making insurance companies pay for treatment were among the major ideas offered at a government-university sponsored conference and rally on autism here Tuesday.
"Those are the top items of the day," said Mark Roithmyer, president of Autism Speaks, the largest advocacy agency for the disease in the world.
In response, Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plan in Washington, D.C., said "there has been a recent attempt to shift the responsibility for some educational services to the health care systems, and our customers tell us they can't pay any more."
But Roithmyer said 15 states have mandated that insurance companies provide additional services and noted, "New York State could be next. Harvey Weisenberg [D-Long Beach] is sponsoring such a bill in the Assembly and Sen. Charles Fuschillo [R-Merrick] in the Senate."