Alexander: Senate Passes 3 Public Health Bills to Help More American Families Lead Healthier Lives

Posted on September 8, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 8, 2017 – The Senate this week passed three bipartisan public health bills to help more American families lead healthier lives. The three bills were overwhelmingly approved in April by the Senate health committee, chaired by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

“These bills each take important steps to help more American families lead healthier lives,” Alexander said. “These bills work to support states in screening and linking to follow-up care for infants with hearing loss; improve federal programs to prevent diabetes and other diseases; and improve public health preparedness to combat the Zika virus. I am glad the Senate has passed these important pieces of legislation, and I urge the House to do the same.” 

The three bills passed by the Senate health committee in April and this week by the full Senate include:   

·       Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) – Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act (S. 652): If you’re a parent with a newborn, infant, or young child, this bill will support state-based efforts to screen them for hearing loss and ensure proper follow-up care, including diagnosis and early intervention. 

·       Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) – National Clinical Care Commission Act (S.920): This bill will create a commission of leading experts to study complex metabolic or autoimmune diseases, like diabetes. The commission will recommend improvements to federal programs that work to help prevent diseases like diabetes or educate patients on their condition.  

·         Sens. Angus King (I- Maine), Richard Burr (R-N.C.),  Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) – Strengthening Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health (SMASH) Act (S.849): This bill will improve public health preparedness capabilities to help combat the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases that threaten public health by reauthorizing and strengthening key programs that support state and local mosquito surveillance and control efforts and response activities to protect against infectious diseases, such as the Zika virus.