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Missouri to expand newborn disease testing

(UPI file photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Missouri will soon begin testing newborns for 27 early childhood disorders. That's up from five.

Governor Matt Blunt announced the change Thursday in St. Louis. It will take effect July 1.

Blunt says Missouri is one of 17 states implementing the expanded testing, and it could save money in the future.

"I think this is important to do in and of it self if you separate it from any balance sheet," Blunt said. "But I do think if you look at this in terms of the long term cost for taxpayers because of education costs, health care costs, the long term disability costs it is beneficial to taxpayers."

Blunt says if any disorders are found in newborns, the state will pay for treatment if the child is eligible for Medicaid.

About 100,000 adults are losing Medicaid coverage this year because of cuts to the program.

But the Governor says no Missouri child will lose eligibility under the new budget.