CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
S. 3199 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Wednesday, December 15, 2010, under a suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. Sen. Snowe (R-ME) introduced S. 3199 on April 14, 2010, and the Senate approved it by unanimous consent on December 7, 2010.
S. 3199 would expand the newborns and infants hearing loss program to include diagnostic services among the services provided and would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assist in the recruitment, retention, education, and training of qualified personnel and health care providers to implement the program.
In addition, it would revise the purpose of these programs to include: (1) developing and monitoring the efficacy of statewide programs and systems for hearing screening of newborns and infants, prompt evaluation and diagnosis of children referred from screening programs, and appropriate education, audiological, and medical interventions for children identified with hearing loss and (2) developing efficient models to ensure that newborns and infants who are identified with a hearing loss through screening receive follow-up by a qualified health care provider.
Some members may be concerned that this bill would expand an existing program and could cost taxpayers $183 million.
The section of the Public Health Service Act that is amended by S. 3199 includes language that authorizes the appropriation of “such sums as necessary” for the program. If all funding is provided, CBO estimates implementing S. 3199 would cost $183 million over five year.