Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Assembly GOP Helps Big Contributors At The Expense Of Autistic Children

Assembly Republicans bent on not requiring insurance companies to cover treatments for autistic children have accepted $2.5 million in campaign contributions since 1993 from insurance, business, manufacturing and banking interests that oppose the measure.

Instead, the Assembly GOP caucus supports a corporate welfare proposal that gives insurers a pass by putting $6 million in state taxpayer dollars into a program to help 325 autistic children on the program's waiting list. It doesn't help those who are not on the list or the one in 192 children born in Wisconsin with autism in the future.

The four special interests that oppose expanding insurance coverage for autistic children are among the Assembly Republicans' most generous benefactors. Their $2.5 million in contributions comprise 30 percent of the $8.41 million Assembly Republicans have accepted since 1993 from all 23 major special interest groups.

The most affected group - insurers - has contributed $1.26 million to current legislators since 1993. Assembly Republicans got $474,609, or 38 percent - the biggest cut of the four legislative caucuses.

Keep an eye on how they vote today on their pro-insurance industry change to Senate Bill 178.

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