Washington Outlook

Omnibus Health Bill Headed for President's Signature

October 9, 2000

By a vote of 394-25, the House passed the Children's Health Act of 2000 (H.R. 4365), a bill to reauthorize and revise health programs for children, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and children's health facilities. The comprehensive health package contains several health care bills including S.976 which reauthorizes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The measure, S.976, encourages a greater focus on youth drug and mental health programs and authorizes $100 million in grants to public entities to assist cities in developing ways to assist children in dealing with violence; authorizes $40 million to public and non-profit entities for the provision of substance abuse treatment services for children and adolescents; authorizes $10 million for programs to prevent the use of methamphetamine and inhalants; and offers a provision for funding to the Drug Enforcement Administration and Office of National Drug Control Policy to help local law enforcement officials combat drug manufacturing such as methamphetamine. The children's health provisions cover an array of programs and targeted disease specific conditions including autism, asthma, muscular dystrophy, birth defects, hearing losses, epilepsy, maternal health, prenatal care and hepatitis C to name a few. The bipartisan omnibus package is expected to be signed by the President.

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