Senators Gardner, Hassan Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Save Newborn Babies’ Lives

Washington, D.C. — Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today introduced the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan bill to help save lives and improve the health of newborn babies by providing federal funding for comprehensive and standardized newborn screening tests for conditions such as critical congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, and hearing loss. The tests can identify treatable conditions that, if caught early, can prevent serious illness, lifetime disabilities, and even death.

“As a parent, I know how important early screening is. Identifying genetic disorders in a newborn early on can be the key difference between life and death,” said Senator Gardner. “Early treatment from newborn screening can save families, the taxpayer, and the health care system millions of dollars down the road. I urge Congress to reauthorize this program to ensure that states have the support they need to continue critical screenings for newborn babies.”

“It’s vital that every parent understand and have access to life-saving newborn screening,” said Senator Hassan. “Over the last decade, we’ve seen the powerful impact that this program has made for families, and I’m proud to be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure its continued funding.”

The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act — which builds on the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2008 — provides funding for state programs that screen newborns for a complete panel of disorders, as recommended by experts, and that educate parents and providers about the disorders. The bill also includes additional funding to support states’ follow-up and tracking programs, as well as laboratory quality. Each year, these screenings result in over 12,000 newborns being diagnosed with disorders, many of which can be treated even before symptoms begin to appear. The House version of the bill, led by Representatives Roybal-Allard, Mike Simpson, Katherine Clark, and Jaime Herrera Beutler, was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this week. 

 

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