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house Bill H.R. 1344

Does a Program Authorizing Hearing Tests for Infants Need to be Reauthorized?

Argument in favor

These programs have served newborns, infants, and their families well for over 15 years. Reauthorization makes sense, and would ensure that young children with hearing loss get the treatment they need.

Alis's Opinion
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09/06/2015
Of course, this should be reauthorized! Why is this even a question? Congress refuses to close any tax loopholes for corporations that hide profits overseas--made from American consumers & in the stable conditions that exist in the U.S. that American citizens pay for--or require hedge fund managers to pay taxes at the same rate as other citizens. And on& on& on. If our congress wasn't so deeply corrupt & irresponsible to the citizenry or so profoundly committed to war, there would be money for ordinary Americans. We rival the developing world in the political corruption of elected officials in the legislature!
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David's Opinion
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09/09/2015
Program works. Catching problems early reduces costs of later detection and correction.
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BrianDeanMSF's Opinion
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09/10/2015
This should be reauthorized. It is an investment in the quality of life for citizens across America.
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Argument opposed

If the federal government is going to keep these programs around, it needs to consider ways to generate revenue from these activities to mitigate costs. Otherwise it might be time to hand them off to the states or the private sector.

CW-Nation's Opinion
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09/08/2015
While a worthy cause...This should be handled on a State level, not Federal.
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Mark's Opinion
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03/30/2016
Make the parents pay for it. Why should I or ant other childless person help pay for this? It doesn't provide us any value.
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burmatt19's Opinion
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06/10/2016
While it's a good cause, it needs to make revenue otherwise it won't last long. Also, it's not perfected as it is anyway.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1344?

This bill would reauthorize the federal government’s authority to provide hearing tests and intervention programs to newborn babies. These programs have been operating since 1999, and in 2011 screened about 97 percent of all infants.

Under current law, this program would expire in September 2015. This bill would authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2017 to 2022.

The Health Resources and Services Administration would receive $17.8 million annually through 2022. These funds would go to administering statewide programs for hearing screenings, evaluations, and intervention programs for newborns, infants, and young children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would get $10.8 million annually for technical assistance, data management, and research projects.

Impact

Newborns, infants, and young children who undergo hearing tests, their families, healthcare providers and staff who administer hearing exams and intervention programs, state-level programs, the HRSA, and the CDC.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1344

$212.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $212 million over the 2016-2020 period, or about $42 million per year.

More Information

In-Depth: The lead sponsor of this program, Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), praised the effectiveness of these hearing screening programs in his introductory press release:
“Early detection of hearing loss is just like the early detection of any other disease or illness — it can dramatically change the outcome of one’s prognosis. By reauthorizing these screening and intervention programs, and by shifting our focus to ensure there is less loss to follow-up, we can ensure all newborn babies are being evaluated and receiving any necessary treatment.”

According to the CDC, as many 12,000 babies are born each year with hearing loss. In 2011, 97 percent of all newborns in the U.S. underwent a hearing loss screening, and of those about 1.8 percent did not pass their screening. About two-thirds of those that didn’t pass their screening were diagnosed with some form of hearing loss. For reference, only 46 percent of infants were screened in 1999.

This bill was passed unanimously out of committee via voice vote, and enjoys the bipartisan support of 14 Democratic and 12 Republican cosponsors.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user breity)

AKA

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize a program for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns, infants, and young children.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house Passed September 8th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
    IntroducedMarch 10th, 2015

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    Of course, this should be reauthorized! Why is this even a question? Congress refuses to close any tax loopholes for corporations that hide profits overseas--made from American consumers & in the stable conditions that exist in the U.S. that American citizens pay for--or require hedge fund managers to pay taxes at the same rate as other citizens. And on& on& on. If our congress wasn't so deeply corrupt & irresponsible to the citizenry or so profoundly committed to war, there would be money for ordinary Americans. We rival the developing world in the political corruption of elected officials in the legislature!
    Like (11)
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    While a worthy cause...This should be handled on a State level, not Federal.
    Like (5)
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    Program works. Catching problems early reduces costs of later detection and correction.
    Like (6)
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    This should be reauthorized. It is an investment in the quality of life for citizens across America.
    Like (5)
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    Hearing loss is not reversible therefore we need to make sure those who have it can get the help they need. Sure it is expensive but it will be well worth the cost as proper intervention can prevent future problems such as having to flunk out of school and live on federal government and state government assistance programs, because of being unable to learn when you can't hear the teachers voice in a standard school setting.
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    The sooner you can detect hearing loss, the faster you can help families open the lines of communication however they wish and determine how they want to be the best possible teachers and guides for their children through the course of their lives. We cannot afford to continue to let families get split by something as basic as a communications divide and EHDI provides a critical starting point for those very families that need it as early as possible.
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    Keep the Fed's out of your business
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    The deficit is bad enough.
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    Make the parents pay for it. Why should I or ant other childless person help pay for this? It doesn't provide us any value.
    Like (1)
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    This would ensure that young children with hearing loss get the treatment they need.
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    While it's a good cause, it needs to make revenue otherwise it won't last long. Also, it's not perfected as it is anyway.
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    Parenta can be taught how to test their children
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    Absolutely! !!
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    Let parents pay.
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    Yes. The nay Sayers and democrats sound so heartless against these babies and families. Shame.
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    State level
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    No more nanny state bs.
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    I am deaf in my left ear and they didn't catch it until I was in second grade. Doctors say that I could have been deaf the whole time and not noticed it.
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    State level, not federal!
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    The health of our youngest should be a paramount concern. Hearing is very important in early development and the earlier we discover a hearing problem the better for the child's development.
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