House bill would bolster health tracking on Gulf Coast

The Democrats’ bill would allow HHS officials to tap their newly-created health registry for purposes of identifying and diagnosing the possible adverse health effects associated with long-term exposure to gas and petroleum. The idea is to prevent such ailments when the next oil spill comes along.

The legislation includes $21 million to launch the registry in 2011, with an additional $4 million each year through 2015.

The bill would also direct money toward the counseling and treatment of mental health problems associated with the spill.

Thursday's markup will take place in the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, headed by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.).

This builds off of an earlier post, updated at 2:38 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m.