Saturday, June 09, 2007
Autism Heroes and Zeros No. 1
Autism Zero - South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford who vetoed legislation to require insurance companies and state health plans to cover autism
Autism Heroes - Legislators in the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives who voted to override Governor Sanford's veto
This post is the first in a series about autism heroes and zeros. First on the list of autism zeros is South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford who vetoed autism legislation. The heroes in the story are autism moms Marcella Ridley, Lorri Unumb and Lisa Rowlings and the SC House and Senate legislators who voted to override the governor's veto.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Governor Mark Sanford has vetoed the autism bill, but the legislature overrode that veto. Both the House and the Senate voted in support of the bill Thursday.
The governor said he vetoed it because it would raise health care costs, "Well right now the mandates we've got presently in the system cost us all about $500 a year in insurance coverage. For the working family, $500 added to the price of of your insurance is enough to keep many from getting insurance in the first place. What happens today adds about $50 for a family."
Marcella Ridley spoke to WIS earlier in the week about the bill, "I never thought I'd be sitting here on June fourth - I didn't. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed in that."
People call Marcella Ridley, Lorri Unumb and Lisa Rowlings the angels for autism. For two years, the ladies have spearheaded the fight for legislation they believe will help autistic children. Their reasons are personal. Each of the ladies has an autistic child.
Marcella's little guy is named Winston, and the bill is actually named after Lorri's son Ryan.
"These are three moms on a mission," says Senator Joel Lourie. It's a mission the senator has spent a lot of time on. He says the bill would improve treatment options for kids with autism.
And while he says at first insurance companies were hesitant to cover the costs, now everyone has signed off on it, everyone except the governor.