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Larson, Rooney Introduce Bill to Ensure Access to Treatment for Military Children with Developmental Disabilities

May 9, 2014
Press Release

Washington - Today, Reps. John B. Larson (D-CT) and  Tom Rooney (R-FL) introduced legislation to require the nation's military healthcare program, TRICARE, to ensure access to behavioral treatments for military families who have children with developmental disabilities.

"Access to health care services and treatment are crucial for children with developmental disabilities," said Larson. "Today, families serving our nation and military retirees face even greater challenges accessing that care. That's why we are continuing our work to honor our military families and ensure access to the care and services they deserve."

"Families across the country face incredible challenges in raising children with autism and developmental disabilities. I've seen this firsthand with my two nephews on the autism spectrum. For our military families, these challenges can be particularly daunting," Rooney said. "Our common sense bill helps ensure that the children of our troops and military retirees have access to the health care services they need."

In Washington, Congressman Larson and Rooney have worked on a number of measures to ensure access to treatments. In the 112th Congress, Larson joined Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) in introducing the Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act (H.R. 2288), cosponsored by Rooney. The legislation initially came after several issues with TRICARE were brought to light during an Autism Speaks forum in West Hartford. During the forum, Rachel Kenyon of Manchester, wife of Command Sergeant Major William Kenyon, explained that many military families face challenges with TRICARE, which now limits access to behavioral health treatment.