Alexander-Bennet PREEMIE Act Advances In Senate

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Co.), members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), on Thursday praised the passage in the committee of their bill to expand research, education, and intervention activities related to preterm birth.

Officials said the PREEMIE Act will help reduce preterm birth, prevent newborn death and disability caused by it, and expand preterm birth research. It also will promote the development, availability, and uses of evidence-based standards of care for pregnant women. The bill passed the committee by voice vote.

Senator Alexander said, “This bill is to help the half a million babies born prematurely each year, including an average 204 premature babies born each week in Tennessee—that’s 13 percent of all live births. We have seen significant progress in reducing premature births since we first passed this bill in 2006, but preterm birth is still the leading killer of newborns and there is a lot of work left to do. I salute the March of Dimes for its great efforts in reducing premature births, and I urge my colleagues to join the committee in supporting this important bill.”

“Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death and is more common in the United States than many other developed countries. The PREEMIE Act is a bipartisan effort to help us better understand its causes and how we can reduce the number of occurrences,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “I am pleased my colleagues on the HELP Committee have moved this bill forward, and I urge the Senate to pass it as soon as possible.”

This year in the U.S. alone, approximately 28,000 babies will die before their first birthday, 36 percent of those from preterm birth complications. In addition to being the leading cause of newborn death, premature birth can cause a lifetime of health challenges and intellectual disabilities for those children who do survive. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the annual societal costs associated with preterm birth were $26.2 billion in 2005 or $51,600 per infant born preterm. Nearly two-thirds of this $26.2 billion estimate was spent on medical care, a figure that does not include the cost of medical care beyond early childhood or caretaker costs such as lost wages.

A companion bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D-Ca.) and Leonard Lance (R-N.J.). The bill is supported by the March of Dimes Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.


Corker, Colleagues Pledge Support For Fight To Contain Ebola Outbreak

The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution offered by Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recognizing the severe threat posed by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the support provided by the United States government, ... (click for more)

Corker Congratulates Bethany Christian Services On Being Named An “Angel In Adoption”

Senator Bob Corker congratulated Bethany Christian Services of Chattanooga on being recognized as a Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute 2014 Angel in Adoption for their advocacy of adoption issues. “Bethany Christian Services of Chattanooga has impacted the lives of countless families through their tireless dedication to finding children permanent, loving homes, and ... (click for more)

Erlanger Finishes Fiscal Year With $18 Million Profit

After a major loss the year before, Erlanger Health System finished the fiscal year with an $18 million profit, officials announced Monday night. It was well ahead of the $2 million gain that Erlanger had budgeted for, and far better than last year's $8 million loss. The profit was boosted by a first-time $19,587,000 from a Public Hospital Supplemental payment and essential ... (click for more)

Chancellor Rules That IDB Must Reimburse Attorney Fees, Other Legal Costs For Helen Burns Sharp On TIF Lawsuit

Chancellor Pam Fleenor has ruled that Helen Burns Sharp, who sued over the validity of a $9 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for a planned major development on Aetna Mountain, should be reimbursed her discretionary costs as well as her attorney fees. Ms. Sharp said in a recent court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka were $74,427 at the time. The ... (click for more)

ChattaData Is A Real Advance For The City

This past Tuesday, the city of Chattanooga's new performance management tool called ChattaData was unveiled. As the chairman of the City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, I am excited to witness the city putting this important information online in a way that is accessible and transparent to all taxpayers. This approach shines light on how we as a city prioritize our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Apollos Hester’s Way

East View High was trailing at halftime by a pair of touchdowns in last Friday night’s game against unbeaten Vandegrift. But the players at the Georgetown, Texas, school each have a sticker on the back of their helmets that says “TPW” which is a constant reminder that “Tough People Win.” Then there is “attitude” and that is where running back Apollos Hester steps in. In what ... (click for more)