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West Virginia Senate set to repeal outdated medical provisions

By RUSTY MARKS

The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the West Virginia Senate are moving four different bills that would repeal medical provisions in obsolete sections of state code.

The bills passed through first reading Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 and are expected to reach a floor vote later in the week.

“They were basically just cleanup of years of programs that either never existed or haven’t functioned in years,” said Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, one of two physicians in the Senate to co-sponsor the bills.

One of the bills would repeal an old requirement in state law that provides assistance to Korean War and Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange or other chemicals. Takubo said the state passed the requirement years ago, but the program was never put into place. Instead, state veterans were protected under a similar federal program.

Another bill would repeal a section of code that requires screenings of tuberculosis, high blood pressure and diabetes.

“We only have a few cases (of tuberculosis) in the state a year,” Takubo said. “It was a big expense.”

Takubo said similar screenings already are covered by other medical services around the state.

A third bill would repeal a section of code that creates a statewide hemophilia program, while the fourth would do away with a section creating “Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.”

Takubo said the Senate intends to pursue more sweeping legislation to purge the books of outdated or obsolete sections of code.

Both Republicans and Democrats co-sponsored the four bills.

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