Kentucky legislature agrees to screen newborns for Krabbe

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Every newborn baby in Kentucky will be tested for a rare genetic disorder that can be fatal if not treated at birth under a bill that has passed the state legislature.

The state House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass a bill Tuesday that would screen newborns for Krabbe disease. The bill now heads to Gov. Steve Beshear for his signature.

The bill stalled in the House last week after concerns about the costs. The disease affects one in 100,000 people in a state that averages 60,000 births each year. State health officials estimated it would cost about $250,000 a year to screen for the disease.

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But Democratic state Rep. Tommy Thompson noted other states, like Missouri, outsource the cost of the test for $2.50 per person.

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The legislation is Senate Bill 75.