Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gumm Wins Approval for Key Senate Studies

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Jay Paul Gumm has won approval for several interim studies on high profile legislative issues, many of which would improve access to medical care for thousands of citizens in his district.

“Interim studies help us do critical research and analysis on issues that may be considered in the coming legislative session, as well as allowing an opportunity for input by experts in specific fields as well as public hearings,” Gumm said. “These studies allow us to hit the ground running when the session begins in February with concrete evidence to support the benefit of legislation action.”

Gumm, a Democrat from Durant, won approval for seven interim studies—more than any other member of the Senate. Two of the studies deal with autism; the first will examine using the Oklahoma High Risk Health Insurance Pool to cover autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and treatment. The second is a study on the economic impact of autism insurance mandates.

“I have vowed to continue the fight for greater access to autism diagnosis and treatment for Oklahoma families struggling with this disorder,” Gumm said. “The key to passage – as we have seen other states do – is to get to the facts.

“I am confident if we can peel away partisan politics and look at the true costs and benefits, we will know for certain that autism insurance coverage is consistent with Oklahoma’s values.”
Gumm’s other studies include:

· An examination of the cost and benefit of providing assisted living benefits;
· The cost and benefits of funding the Umbilical Cord Blood Bank, established by a bill he wrote and passed two years ago;
· Examining of increasing the time before and after a funeral when protests are prohibited, as well as increasing the distance;
· The cost and benefit of creating a Children’s Cabinet; and,
· The cost and benefit of allowing a Medicaid Income Pension Trust to ensure elderly Oklahomans do not lose nursing home benefits.

“These are issues that clearly deserve in-depth study,” he said. “I have great faith that each of these policy initiatives will directly benefit not only people right here in my district, but throughout Oklahoma. In the long run, these initiatives will help Oklahoma’s economy by insuring a better quality of life for citizens and those yet unborn.”

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