Durbin introduces measure to reauthorize congenital heart defects bill
U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation on Thursday that would reauthorize Durbin’s Congenital Heart Futures Act, which expired this year.
The original bill focused on boosting research into and awareness of congenital heart defects.
The original bill was introduced by Durbin and other congressmen in 2009 and was included in the Affordable Care Act. The new Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act would continue to promote research and care, as well as raise awareness.
“Every 15 minutes in America, a baby is born with a congenital heart defect," Durbin said. "Many of these congenital heart defects are simple and can be easily corrected; others are complex. Some can require a lifetime of specialized medical care, which can be prohibitively expensive. The Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act bill will coordinate congenital heart disease research and help those with this challenge live longer.”
A companion bill was introduced in the House by U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA).
“Far too many vulnerable children are born with congenital heart defects,” Casey said. “While we have made significant progress in improving these children’s lives, we still have much to do to learn how to provide the best care possible for these individuals throughout their lives. Our nation has an abiding obligation to support research into these medical conditions. This legislation is a bipartisan approach that has the potential to improve survival rates. We owe it to the children and adults living with congenital heart defects to do all we can to address their medical needs.”
There are approximately 35 types of congenital heart defects, none of which can be cured. However, childhood survival rates have improved sharply, as high as 90 percent, up from 20 percent in the 1950s.