Clinton pushes broader health coverage for autism

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 05, 2016 8:11 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would work with states to ensure that private health insurers cover behavioral and developmental services for those with autism, her campaign said on Tuesday.

At a campaign stop in Iowa later Tuesday Clinton will roll out a multipoint plan to assist the more than 3.5 million Americans with autism, calling for nationwide screening and a ban on the use of mechanical restraints in schools.

The plan comes shortly after she announced a similar push to combat Alzheimer's in recent weeks.

Clinton has made helping the middle class a centerpiece of her campaign, and the health initiatives could help family caregivers, who can feel particularly stretched for time and resources.

Her autism plan would also include a nationwide outreach campaign to screen children for autism as well as an initiative to extend new resources and establish public-private partnerships for transitioning students with autism out of school-based services.

Clinton, a former secretary of state, is the front-runner for her party's nomination for the November 2016 presidential election.

She has support from 57 percent of her party, compared to 31 percent support for her main rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, in a five-day rolling poll from Reuters/Ipsos dated

Dec. 29.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker and Luciana Lopez; Editing by Susan Heavey and Jeffrey Benkoe)