Newswise — WASHINGTON – Today, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2019 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., and Michael Simpson, R-Idaho. This bipartisan bill is also expected to be introduced in the Senate soon. AACC commends the two legislators for introducing this bill and urges Congress to pass this legislation to ensure the continuation of pediatric testing programs that help thousands of infants receive life-saving treatments every year.
Almost all infants born in the U.S. undergo newborn screening, which is the practice of testing newborns for medical conditions that can cause disabilities, illness, or even death if not diagnosed and treated early. The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2019 will renew essential federal newborn screening programs for the next five years. The legislation will also help these programs to address new conditions and leverage emerging technologies, in addition to commissioning a report from the National Academy of Medicine to make recommendations for modernizing newborn screening initiatives.
As a longtime supporter of newborn screening, AACC has worked with a coalition of healthcare organizations for many years to ensure that this vital program continues to receive federal funding. AACC actively contributed to efforts that led to the passage of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2014. The association encouraged Congress to approve the 2014 reauthorization by holding a congressional briefing about newborn screening; visiting individual congressional offices to discuss the bill; and releasing a position statement that affirmed AACC’s endorsement of public and private efforts to maintain, improve, and expand newborn screening programs. Now that the 2019 legislation has been introduced, AACC will advocate for the bill’s approval and urges Congress to pass it by the end of the year.
“We would like to thank Representatives Roybal-Allard and Simpson for introducing this important legislation, which is critical to ensuring the health of the more than 4 million infants born in the U.S. each year,” said AACC CEO Janet B. Kreizman. “Newborn screening is one of the most successful public health programs of our time, and federal involvement plays a crucial role in both maintaining and advancing this initiative.”
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit www.aacc.org.