Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tyson links autism bill to Obamacare, votes against it on awareness day

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 4/4/2014

TOPEKA — A bill that would force Kansas insurance plans to provide health insurance for children diagnosed with autism only needs Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature to become law.

But that doesn’t mean the measure was universally supported by local lawmakers. State Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, voted against the bill.

TOPEKA — A bill that would force Kansas insurance plans to provide health insurance for children diagnosed with autism only needs Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature to become law.

But that doesn’t mean the measure was universally supported by local lawmakers. State Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, voted against the bill.

House Bill 2744, which would require insurance coverage for children younger than 12 who have autism, was passed by the House Feb. 21 on a 114-3 vote, including the backing of state Reps. Blaine Finch, R-Ottawa, and Kevin Jones, R-Wellsville. The measure cleared the Senate Wednesday — which was World Autism Awareness Day — on a 38-2 vote.

Tyson was among the two no votes.

The first-term state senator said the bill echoed provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which includes government mandates on purchasing health care coverage.

“We hear so many people complain about Obamacare, which is the requirement of purchasing insurance,” Tyson said. “There are options available for people to optionally buy the insurance, so I just felt this shouldn’t be a government mandate. There’s other issues out there too, other very important issues for Kansans, and they should be able to decide which ones they need.”

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