Newborn Screening Program Under Attack
In a bill moving through the Senate, major changes are being proposed that would dramatically impact the state’s Newborn Screening Program. The language proposed would allow parents to decline to have the tests (no change) or to elect to have the tests after which the blood spots would be destroyed (change). Parents could elect to “opt-in” to have the blood spots stored for a period of no more than 24 months (change). In addition, the bill would require immediate destruction of all currently stored blood samples. It would also abolish the registry of congenital diseases which is used for the purpose of follow-up services.
House & Senate Move Budgets Forward
The finance bills setting budgets for HHS agencies and programs are moving through both the House and Senate. Though very different in their approaches, both bills would cut deeply into public programs and eligibility, rely heavily on federal waivers, and contain a number of controversial policy provisions.
Repeal of Minor Consent Proposed
Under a bill discussed in the Senate, the state’s long-standing ‘minor consent’ law would be repealed. Under the legislation, health services for minors would require consent by a parent or guardian. Were a minor the victim of sexual or physical assault or incest, the minor could receive care only after seeking a judicial order.