Harrisburg – Senators Lisa Baker (R-20th) and John Yudichak (D-14th) announced that Senate Bill 1270 was approved by a unanimous vote today in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
The bill would provide for universal lead testing for children and expectant mothers and require health insurers to cover the testing. The Pennsylvania Department of Health would also be required to develop a statewide electronic confidential registry of patients’ test results.
“By requiring lead testing for two of our most vulnerable populations, we are taking proactive preventative measures to combat the devastating health impacts that can occur when children and expectant mothers are exposed to lead,” said Yudichak. “Developing a more comprehensive lead assessment and remediation strategy in Pennsylvania has been one of my top legislative priorities, and it is my hope that we can continue to work on passing legislative policies that address the risks of lead exposure.”
Lead testing is not mandatory for children in Pennsylvania and there is no dedicated state funding for lead testing or remediation in Pennsylvania. Federal law requires children covered by Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to be tested.
“Lead exposure should be on every list of serious health concerns. Yet, it tends to receive attention only when there is an expose done or a notorious breakdown in preventive measures surfaces. The key is finding the sources of lead across our communities, remediating these situations, and determining who has been exposed. We must be prudent and purposeful to our approach and the priority we put on solutions,” said Baker, the Majority Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and co-prime sponsor of the bill.
In June 2017, the Senate unanimously approved Yudichak’s SR 33, which established a Lead Task Force and Advisory Committee under the direction of the Joint State Government Commission. The Lead Task Force and Advisory Committee is studying the scope of lead exposure in Pennsylvania and a report with their findings and recommendations will be produced to the Senate.
Andrew M. Seder
District Communications/Constituent Services for Pike and Wayne Counties
Office of Senator Lisa Baker
2512 Route 6, Suite 3
Hawley, PA 18428