Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) recently met with the leadership of the March of Dimes to discuss H.R. 6085, the Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early (PREEMIE) Reauthorization Act, legislation to reduce infant deaths related to premature births. The legislation has been introduced by Lance and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) to specifically expand research, education and intervention activities aimed at preventing premature births.
"Working together we can continue to reduce premature birth rates and confront childhood disabilities that many young people face. Thanks to great partners like the March of Dimes, this bipartisan legislation will keep up the momentum to help pregnant women. We need to reauthorize the bipartisan PREEMIE Act to accelerate research, education and intervention so we can help more women and reduce premature births. I commend Congresswoman Eshoo for her leadership on his issue," said Lance, a senior member of the Health Subcommittee.
"The PREEMIE Act of 2018 renews Congress's commitment to preventing and treating premature birth and its complications, which are the leading contributor to the death of infants across our nation," stated March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart. "The PREEMIE Act is an investment in our country's future. The March of Dimes is grateful to Reps. Anna Eshoo and Leonard Lance for being steadfast champions for moms and babies."
"Every year, ten percent of babies are born prematurely putting them and their mothers at an increased risk of complicated health problems," Congresswoman Eshoo said. "Since shepherding this legislation into law in 2006, the PREEMIE Act has helped researchers and doctors identify the causes of premature births and work to prevent them. The number of preterm births decreased from 2007 to 2014, but they've begun to rise again. I look forward to swiftly reauthorizing this important program to ensure that every child has a healthy start to life."
This legislation reauthorizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) research and data collection on infants born prematurely and programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration improve the treatment and outcome of infants born premature. These programs include grants to help doctors and the public understand the potential risk factors for having a preterm baby, such as smoking, and grants to screen and treat expectant mothers for substance use disorders, including opioid use disorders. This reauthorization also includes updated language to incorporate maternal health.