Bipartisan legislation requires that all children enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP receive a lead screening test
May 26, 2021
WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have introduced bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would insure children enrolled in Medicaid or the Insurance Program pediatric medicine (CHIP). lead poisoning is tested at the right ages. Lead risks in the home pose serious threats to children’s health and safety and can cause irreversible and long-term damage to health, neurological and behavioral.
“Lead poisoning remains a problem in the United States and Ohio is no exception. The risk of lead exposure from low-quality housing is especially high in Ohio, specifically in Cuyahoga County. Lead poisoning is extremely dangerous for young children, as it causes brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems and other serious health problems ”. said Portman. “Currently, only 38% of Medicaid children receive the necessary lead screening tests, a number too low. This bipartisan legislation aims to increase that number by codifying current Medicaid regulations and extending the requirements to all CHIP programs. , while helping states better identify what efforts are needed to track possible cases of lead exposure. “
“If left untreated, lead poisoning can cause serious long-term health side effects in children and inhibit their ability to reach their full potential. Testing is key to ensuring that lead exposure is detected. as fast as possible “. said Menendez. “By extending lead testing to all children enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, we can better detect and work to treat adverse effects in children.”
“There are too many children in Ohio who are poisoned by their own homes and too many Ohio families learn that their children have only been exposed to toxic levels of lead after they begin to experience symptoms.” said Brown. “We need to make sure all Ohio children receive the tests they need to diagnose lead poisoning as soon as possible and ensure proper follow-up care.”
Lead poisoning causes significant health, neurological, behavioral, intellectual, and academic impairments. When absorbed into the body, especially in young children, lead can damage the brain and nervous system, slow down development and growth, and cause learning or behavior problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risks of lead-based paint, such as lead-containing dust and deteriorated lead-based paint chips, are the most common source of lead exposure. for US children.
Children with lead poisoning require ongoing medical treatment and may need special education services. Studies have shown the profound impact of child lead poisoning on outcomes such as school graduation rates. The prevention of lead poisoning preserves the child’s ability to reach its full potential.
Specifically, the 2021 Lead Poisoning Prevention Act:
- It codifies the 2016 Medicaid guidelines that require all children enrolled in Medicaid to receive a lead screening test at specific ages;
- Creates parity to ensure that all children enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP are tested for potential by extending existing Medicaid potential testing protocols to independent CHIP programs;
- Strengthens reporting standards for both CHIP and Medicaid programs and directs CDCs to publish best practices for states on data collection; i
- It authorizes $ 5 million / year for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 for the CDC to provide grants to states to improve their reports on children’s blood lead testing.
The text of the invoice can be downloaded here. Congressman John Katko (R-NY) introduces complementary legislation in the House of Representatives.