Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed HB 8 (57-39) which would prohibit health insurance plans regulated by the State of Ohio from denying coverage for autism.  A similar bill regarding diabetes, HB 81, also passed today by a vote of 58-38.

Why, yes, there’s a douchebag argument why health insurance companies should be allowed from covering a health claim:

?The Ohio House of Representatives today approved two measures that guarantee higher health insurance premiums for small businesses that could not have come at a worse time, as most small businesses are already coping with double-digit annual increases in health care costs and the worst economic conditions in recent memory,? Roger R. Geiger, vice president/state executive director for the National Federation of Independent Business/Ohio, said in an e-mail.

Of course, that only applies if you believe there was a widespread case of health insurance companies that refused coverage for these conditions.  And then, you have to ask yourself if such lower premiums were artificial in the first place because they were based on discriminatory practices that allowed health insurance companies from insuring health insurance claims.

It’s like allowing automobile companies to not cover claims related to accidents caused by snow accumulation.  Sure, it’d lower your premium, but at the expense of providing the very kind of assurance insurance is expected to provide.

Regardless, Roger Geiger clearly doesn’t speak for all Ohio’s small businesses:

The vote thrilled Lori Cremeans of Blacklick. She is struggling to pay off an $8,000 dental bill and is unable to afford the more than $100 per week it costs to get therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for her 8-year-old son, Andrew, who is autistic.

As a small-business owner, Cremeans said she has been unable to find health insurance that covers autism.

There’s another economic argument for these policies.  Requiring health insurance policies to cover health claims spread the costs of treatment, thus increasing the volume of people with access to treatment, improving the functioning and overall health of people with autism and diabetes, thus making them more productive in the labor market.  By prohibiting insurers from denying coverage on expensive medical conditions also provides more disposable income to those individuals who otherwise would see their income eaten away by their health costs, thus boosting consumption.  By providing better care, you get more money for consumers to use for consumption and healthier and more productive workers.  Study after study shows that autism can be effectively treated with early childhood treatment.

What the conservative douchebag critics don’t admit to is that the bill still allows insurance companies to opt out of providing coverage for autism if the coverage would increase cost or premiums by more than 1%.  On the average, other States that have implemented this change have seen a .8% increase in premiums.  And yet, as always, it’s doom and gloom for business to have health insurance companies insure care for actual health conditions.

But the douche-est douche of them all?  (HT: Columbus Dispatch)

Rep. Kris Jordan, R-Powell, said he has Type 1 diabetes and “these things are already covered.”

“We’re seeing thousands of jobs leaving our state every month, and we’re nickeling and diming businesses at the same time,” he said.

In other words, I got mine but nobody else should.  Hey, genius, if these things are already covered, then I guess we’re not nickeling and diming business to write into the law that they must do what you claim they’re already doing?