Senate Committee Hears Newborn Screening Bill
The Senate Health Committee on Wednesday will consider a bill (SB 1748) that would include cystic fibrosis on the list of diseases for which newborns are screened, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes respiratory problems, restricts nutrition and shortens lifespan.
The cystic fibrosis test was not included on the list when California in 2004 expanded newborn screenings. Lawmakers first wanted to conduct a pilot program to ensure the test worked.
Including the test in newborn screenings would cost the state about $4.1 million annually. Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), who introduced the bill, said the state would recoup the costs of the test in reduced medical costs over the children's lifetimes. Figueroa said she has not heard any major opposition to the legislation (Murphy, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/27).