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Rep. Clark’s bill to aid opioid-exposed infants gains ground

October 24, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark intended to help newborns suffering from exposure to opioids is making its way through Congress.

The Massachusetts Democrat said the bill instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to come up with the best approach for diagnosing and treating “neonatal abstinence syndrome,” and helping states collect data on the problem.

Clark’s legislation was approved in the Senate this week after being introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania.

The House earlier approved a similar version of the bill.

Clark said Congress has a moral obligation to make the opioid crisis a national priority. She said newborns suffering from opioid withdrawal are the youngest victims of the battle with the epidemic.

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