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Lobbyist Money Help  

Fight over who picks ups the tab for First Steps near an end

April 27, 2005
By: Andrea Ramey
State Capital Bureau

The cost of your insurance may go up...

Andrea Ramey has more from the state Capitol.

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The House General Laws Committee passed Senate Bill 500.

The bill would make insurance companies pay for some of the services First Steps provides.

But some insurance companies say they aren't too happy about.

Bill Shoehigh represents United Health Care.

He says the mandate will have a negative impact for all their clients.

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Contents: "Insurance is about spreading risk. We will spread the risks associated with this increase in cost across our whole membership. For a company the size of United Health Care, the impact will be negligble."

The bill will also make parents pay for some of the cost of the First Steps program.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.

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Some parents of First Steps aren't happy about a bill that will force them to pay for some of the services First Steps provides.

Andrea Ramey has more from the state Capitol.

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The House General Laws Committee passed Senate Bill 500.

The bill would force parents and insurance companies to cover some of the cost of the services that First Steps provides.

Tom Newport, a parent of a First Steps child, says he fears many parents will choose not to participate in the program if there is a high cost associated with it.

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Contents: "The folks that will suffer will be the child because if there is a cost involved and if this is totally unexpected at the time of birth and if this is for three years, can they really afford that, that unexpected cost?"

Representatives from insurance companies say if they have to pay more for services, they will be forced to pass that cost on to the consumer.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.

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The fight over who pays for First Steps is closer to ending.

Andrea Ramey has more from the state Capitol.

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The House Committee on General Laws passed Senate Bill 500.

The bill would force some of the cost associated with First Steps onto the parents and insurance companies.

But both parents and insurance companies aren't happy about picking up the tab.

Representative Brad Roarke who is Chairman of the Committee says part of the cost has to be passed on to someone, but he understands why many are concerned.

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Contents: "We have a serious problem not only in our state but in our nation of citizens who cannot afford healthcare, and I think it's job as legislators to make sure that when we correct one problem we don't create more of a problem somewhere else."

Representatives from insurance companies say if they have to cover the cost of more services, they will be forced to pass that cost on to the consumer.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.