Sen. Green offers testimony on autism bills before House committee

LANSING— Sen. Mike Green on Thursday offers testimony to the Michigan House of Representatives Children, Families and Seniors Committee on the health insurance plans providing coverage for autism disorders.

“Autism affects more and more children every day — nearly 15,000 in Michigan alone — yet most don’t get any treatment because of a lack of insurance coverage,” said Green, R-Mayville.  “It is more commonly diagnosed in children than diabetes, cancer, and AIDS combined, all of which currently are covered under state law.

“Extending insurance coverage for autism disorders is a common sense way to ensure those diagnosed have access to the therapies and treatments that will greatly improve their quality of life and help them reach their full potential.”

According to research, the early diagnosis and treatment of autistic disorders results in 50 percent of patients recovering typical functions, helping them to have full lives. Other states have demonstrated that early intervention also reduces the need for K-12 special education services, saving taxpayers an estimated $200,000 per child. It is estimated that without medical treatment, the average societal cost of caring for one person with autism is $3.7 million.

To see print-quality versions of this and other photos of Green, visit his website at and click the Photowire link.