OFFICE OF SENATOR JAY PAUL GUMM
Atoka, Bryan, Coal, Johnston & Marshall Counties
For Immediate Release: May 5, 2009
Sen. Jay Paul Gumm
Autism Bill Only “Relieves Political Pressure” –
Following is a statement by Senator Jay
Paul Gumm, D-Durant, author of “Nick’s Law”
relating to the enactment of Senate Bill 135:
“Sadly, this bill will do nothing to relieve the pressure
on families struggling to care for children with autism. The measure
was designed to relieve political pressure on legislators who
refuse to even consider ‘Nick’s Law,’ which
would require health insurance to cover diagnosis and treatment
“There is nothing wrong with this bill, just like there
is nothing wrong with a pack of shingles at a construction site.
If you try to put the shingles on before you pour the foundation,
you are doomed to failure. As Governor Henry wisely noted when
he signed the bill, the foundation is insurance coverage of autism.
Absent that, Senate Bill 135 is doomed to failure.
“The therapists that will be trained under this bill will
be unable to make a living in Oklahoma because families still
will be unable to afford the applied behavioral analysis therapies
they offer – just as they are today. The reason is that
there is nothing in Senate Bill 135 that would even remotely help
families bear the cost of this critical treatment.
“More than one child per day in Oklahoma is being diagnosed
with autism. That means more than one child per day is being lost
because they are ‘aging out,’ getting too old for
the therapies to reach. Again, this bill does nothing to help
those children to day.
“For anyone to suggest that ‘relief is on the way,’
is simply not consistent with the bill. Statements like that are
irresponsible and provide only the falsest of hopes to families
who are begging lawmakers for real help. Families deserve better
than the sham being perpetrated on them by legislators who have
neither the courage nor willingness to support ‘Nick’s
For more information contact:
Sen. Gumm's Office - 405-521-5586