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Central Georgians react to "new Ava's law" | News

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Central Georgians react to "new Ava's law"

Tuesday, Georgia state senators voted unanimously in favor of senate bill 397.

If passed in the house, it would require insurance companies to cover certain treatments for autism.

But this bill that's being called the "new Ava's Law" only covers children up to age 6 instead of 18.

It also caps coverage for a costly form of autism therapy called ABA at $35,000, while placing no limits on others.

It's a compromise that comes after five years of lobbying.

"It's a bittersweet victory because so many children that I know are over 6 years old, and it does make me want to cry," Julie Evans of Macon says.

She's talking about children like Shelley Price's 6-year-old son, Mason, who will soon turn 7, and Sarah Spivey's 14-year-old son, Claxton.

Spivey says she's grateful for her son, who she describes as severely autistic, but thinks he and children like him could make greater progress with insurance coverage.

And though it may be too late for the bill to help their children, these mothers say it's still a cause worth fighting for.

"This bill would have been fabulous if it had passed two or three years ago when we were struggling with all the bills that it takes to pay for therapy for Mason, but it doesn't even matter because it affects so many kids," Shellie Price says.


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