PANDAS advocates pushing for much-needed legislation to get another hearing in Ohio House

Keeping Kids Safe

House Bill 488 would mandate health insurers in Ohio to cover medical treatments and procedures

(WYTV) – A bill has recently been introduced in the Ohio House to help children suffering with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infection, also known as PANDAS.

Over the last three years, we’ve shared Clara McCloskey’s journey with you. She was diagnosed with PANDAS at the age of seven.

Many of the treatments she gets to help control tics, anxiety and other medical issues brought on by this rare disease are very expensive. It’s also not covered by insurance.

House Bill 488 would mandate health insurers in Ohio to cover these medical treatments and procedures. The legislation would also create an annual PANDAS Awareness Day in the state.

McCloskey told her story in front of members of the House Health Committee, moving many to tears.

“I was so worried that they just weren’t going to care because I did, I really wanted them to make them feel the pain that I felt during that to convince them that this is serious and this is a thing that has to be done or else millions and millions and millions of other kids, especially in Ohio, are going to suffer. I don’t know if I’m ever going to be normal again, because if they don’t approve this bill and the insurance doesn’t cover my IVIG anymore, I don’t think I’m going to be normal ever again, which is kind of sad,” McCloskey said.

Right now, the bill is not scheduled for a third hearing. It needs one more before moving on to a vote on the House floor and then a vote in the Senate.

PANDAS advocates say this is something that needs to be passed. They’re urging people to contact Speaker Bob Cupp and Representative Scott Lipps to get it back on the agenda.

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