Monday, December 03, 2007

Governor Doyle Urges Lawmakers to Pass Autism, Smokefree Legislation Before the End of the Year

Governor Jim Doyle today called on lawmakers to act next week on legislation to provide autism treatment and make all public places smokefree. Both houses of the legislature will be in session next week before adjourning for the end of the year.

“Before the end of the year, lawmakers should act to make autism treatment affordable for families and make all public places smokefree,” Governor Doyle said. “Families dealing with autism are faced with an impossible choice between doing nothing and risking their financial future. Wisconsin should not become the ashtray of the Midwest. Our neighboring states are becoming smokefree and Legislators need to act now to make public places smokefree. The legislature should not delay another day on these important issues.”

Governor Doyle has long championed efforts requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of treatments essential for children with autism. Autism treatment services are already covered in 18 states. Today, Governor Doyle called on the legislature to act on this issue and reduce the burden on thousands of hard-working families across the state.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects thousands of Wisconsin children at a rate of more than 1 in 200 children. Until recently, autism was considered a life-long disability with poor prognosis. Now, with early and appropriate treatment children can see dramatic improvements. Insurance companies are not required to cover the costs of these treatments and families across the state must pay thousands of out-of-pocket dollars creating a tremendous financial burden.

For nearly a year, Governor Doyle has called for comprehensive smokefree legislation that would ban smoking in all public places. Secondhand smoke is responsible for tens of thousands of death each year and is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, and illness in infants and children. Next year, half of all the states in the country will have enacted smokefree legislation including Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio. Governor Doyle urged the legislature to enact smokefree legislation that bans smoking in all public buildings, workplaces, restaurants, and taverns.

In his budget, Governor Doyle increased the cost of cigarettes and invested $30 million in smoking cessation and prevention efforts. Studies show that the cigarette tax increase will prevent some 65,800 Wisconsin kids alive today from smoking; spur 33,000 Wisconsin smokers to quit for good; save nearly 30,000 Wisconsin residents from smoking-caused deaths; produce more than $1.4 billion in long-term health care savings; and raise about $227 million a year in new state revenue.

Governor Doyle called on the legislature to act before the end of the year to prioritize the health of children, the financial well-being of families, and the improvement of public health.

For more information on which states have already taken action visit: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=12602.

5 Comments:

Blogger CJ said...

There are far more people in Wisconsin with smoking related illnesses than there are children with autism.

The insurance industry says it is worried about the impact of the cost of covering autism, threatening doomsday alarmist rate increases to offset the costs to their business, so why wouldn't they more concerned with the cost impact of smoking in the state?

Just asking.

December 03, 2007 2:20 PM  
Blogger Eman said...

What gives the state the right to tell others they can't smoke? I am a non-smoker. I can't find any reference in our states constitution which gives the Govenor or anyone else the right to tell someone they cannot use a legally sold and TAXED product. When will you supposed leaders see that our rights are being taken away by these liberals. You complain about the Patriot Act and yet you erode the rights of law abiding people. You elitists who think you have rule over all really bug me.

December 07, 2007 12:40 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Eman-

The smoking ban bill will prohibit smoking in all business. It won't outlaw smoking.

You can still smoke your socks off. Just can't impose it on others in public, indoor facilities.

Hope that clarifies things for you.

December 09, 2007 12:06 PM  
Blogger Eman said...

I understood that and my point still remains. This is how liberty is taken from us. These elitists take our rights away incrementally. They start in places they can get MOST people to agree with, such as smoking, then move on to cell phones, then Nativity scenes and Angels like the one in your park and then it’s this, then that and soon you can’t do nothing nowhere for any reason. There are people in this state who sit and wait to be insulted so they can sue and get their piece of the American dream. These people’s skin is so thin I wonder what holds them together. The same people who don’t want teachers using red pens to correct papers are the ones who need to shut up and stop telling everyone how they want others to live.

December 09, 2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

"I understood that and my point still remains. This is how liberty is taken from us."

Our right to smoke is like all of our other rights. You can't hurt others just because you have rights. You can have cigarettes. You can smoke. But you shouldn't be able to harm others with your smoke. You can own a gun. You can shoot it. But you can't shoot others with it.
You can own a car. You can drive a car. But you can't endanger others with it.

I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

December 10, 2007 10:37 AM  

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