WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) applauded the House passage of their Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2022, legislation that will reauthorize current research and improve public health programs for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of hearing loss in newborns, infants, and young children for five additional years.
Senator Portman led the effort to get this program reauthorized for 5 years in 2017. The program is currently set to expire at the end of 2022. Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Senator Portman’s bill was amended by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in June and passed the Senate by unanimous consent last Thursday. On December 6, 2022, it passed the House by a vote of 408-17. The bill will now be sent to the president’s desk for signature.
“I am pleased this important bill has now passed the Senate and the House. Early hearing detection is critical because children with hearing loss often fall behind their peers in speech development, cognitive skills, and social skill. This bill takes important steps to continue critical programs for early hearing detection and intervention for newborns, infants, and young children. I look forward to it being signed into law soon.”
–U.S. Senator, Rob Portman (R-OH)
“Every child deserves to have the same opportunities to thrive, but if a child’s hearing problems go undetected early in life, they can face long-term challenges,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad that this bill to strengthen early detection of hearing loss in newborns and young children is heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law. I will continue working so that every child, regardless of their abilities, can receive the support that they need.”
About the EHDI Act
The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act reauthorizes current research and public health activities related to early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of hearing loss in newborns and infants. Specifically, this legislation:
- Authorizes development of programs for hearing screening of newborns, infants, and young children;
- Authorizes prompt evaluation and diagnosis of children referred from screening programs;
- Provides for educational, audiological, and medical interventions for children confirmed to be deaf or hard-of-hearing;
- Allows education and medical models to ensure that newborns, infants, and young children who are identified through hearing screening receive follow up by qualified early intervention providers, qualified health care providers, or pediatric medical homes; and
- Continues research and development for early hearing detection and intervention, including development of technologies and clinical studies of screening methods.
Source: Office of Rob Portman