Autism spectrum disorder; mandated health insurance coverage therefor. (HB1588)

Introduced By

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) with support from 28 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Kris Amundson (D-Mount Vernon), Del. William Barlow (D-Smithfield), Del. Joe Bouchard (D-Virginia Beach), Del. Danny Bowling (D-Oakwood), Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax), Del. Chuck Caputo (D-Oak Hill), Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria), Del. Frank Hall (D-Richmond), Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville), Del. Bob Hull (D-Falls Church), Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond), Del. Bobby Mathieson (D-Virginia Beach), Del. Jackson Miller (R-Manassas), Del. Paula Miller (D-Norfolk), Del. Paul Nichols (D-Woodbridge), Del. Glenn Oder (R-Newport News), Del. John O'Bannon (R-Richmond), Del. David Poisson (D-Sterling), Del. Tom Rust (R-Herndon), Del. Shannon Valentine (D-Lynchburg), Del. Margi Vanderhye (D-McLean), Del. Onzlee Ware (D-Roanoke), Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson), Sen. Roz Dance (D-Petersburg), Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke), Sen. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Health insurance; mandated coverage for autism spectrum disorder. Requires health insurers, health care subscription plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in individuals under age 21. Coverage is subject to an annual maximum benefit of $36,000. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


09/24/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 090002616
09/24/2008Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/18/2009Impact statement from SCC (HB1588)
01/26/2009Assigned C & L sub: 1
02/03/2009Subcommittee made no recommendation
02/09/2009Pending question ordered
02/09/2009Motion to discharge from Commerce and Labor rejected (32-Y 63-N 1-A)
02/09/2009VOTE: --- AGREE TO MOTION REJECTED (32-Y 63-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
02/10/2009Left in Commerce and Labor

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB1260.


Mary Katherine Vaughan writes:

I am a licensed Physician Assistant who works in Roanoke VA. I know and am friends with several families with children in the Autism spectrum. I support this bill, however, I think the maximum benefit of $36,000 is too low. These children require intense therapy and medications to improve their quality of life so that they can have a chance grow into productive members of our society. Without medical coverage many families will not have the resources to help their kids during the crucial early years.

Pat B writes:

I am an unlicensed naturopath and I have seen this condition reversed with a proper course of nutritional intervention, which is much more efficient and less costly than medical intervention. There is much published on the underlying causes of autism and related disorders resulting from post-encephalitic syndrome caused by vaccines. Maybe if government would not mandate the cause, we wouldn’t find ourselves mandating that ALL of us pay for the resultant damage.

Pat B writes:

Basically there are 2 large populations in the US who have not vaccinated their kids AND have no autism in those children (1) the Amish in Lancaster PA and (2) patients of a group of doctors offices in Cook County IL. Here is the link:

So why should everyone have to pay for remediation (a.k.a. mandated coverage HB1588)?

concerned mom writes:

Pat B,
I agree with your vaccine theory. However, for many of us, it is too late and the damage has already been done to our kids because the government has MANDATED the vaccines. So, if the government is mandating the cause of the autism, they should be helping out with paying for the treatment. The families should not be losing their homes over paying for expensive therapies like ABA which costs $50,000 or more per year and requires early intervention to be effective. This needs to be done in addition to the nutritional intervention to see the best results in these kids and to actually be able to cure them of their autism.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

It should be mentioned that only one study that has ever found a link between mercury and autism, and it was thorough discredited last week. The three researchers were caught faking their study results, and are now likely to lose their medical licenses.

Jamie Goforth writes:

I am a mother with a son who now is 4 and was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. We have Blue cross Blue sheild our insurance plan is great for us and our other children, but as soon as Ethan was diagnosed with autism our medical bills became outragious because the testings and the treatments that were needed were not covered, non of it. I think that it is INSAIN for anyone to stand in the way of helping a child. My son didn't ask for this, if it was a stadium being built or a car company needing money(bailout) I guarantee everyone would approve that, but not helping a child which is priceless. Or h