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Committee Approves Public Health Legislation

On July 23, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health approved several bills, by voice vote, including the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act (H.R. 1344) and the Protecting Our Infants Act (H.R. 1462). The subcommittee held a hearing on the bills on June 25 (see The Source, 6/26/15).

As amended, H.R. 1344, sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), would reauthorize through FY2020 programs at the Health Resources Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health for the early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and tracking of deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns, infants, and young children.

H.R. 1462, sponsored by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), would require the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to report to Congress on prenatal opioid abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome (newborn withdrawal). The report must include: an assessment of existing research on newborn withdrawal; an evaluation of the causes and barriers to treatment of opioid abuse among women of reproductive age; an evaluation of treatment options for pregnant women suffering from opioid abuse and infants suffering from withdrawal syndrome; and recommendations to prevent, identify, and treat opioid dependency in women and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

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