TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Lawmakers are debating a bill aimed
aimed at helping families of children with autism and related
disorders get coverage for their treatment.
The measure is wide-ranging and would require that by 2010 some
health plans cover some treatments for autism. In the meantime, it
would open up KidCare -- Florida's subsidized, low-cost health care
program -- to paying to treat children who have autism and similar
The KidCare program is one of the few initiatives set to get
more money in this tight budget year. A proposed increase of
roughly 13 million dollars could mean an additional 38,000 children
During the first and only hearing for the autism bill today,
advocates, officials and lawmakers expressed fears that absorbing
lots of children with expensive health needs will drive up the
costs for KidCare.