Bill to strike 'mentally retarded' from US code

Bipartisan legislation introduced Wednesday would strike the term "mentally retarded" from the section of the U.S. Code that governs major federal entitlements.

The bill from Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryLobbying world Kerry: Trump not pursuing 'smart' or 'clever' plan on North Korea Tillerson will not send high-ranking delegation to India with Ivanka Trump: report MORE (D-Mass.) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Thanks to the farm lobby, the US is stuck with a broken ethanol policy MORE (R-Iowa) would also expand the mental health services available to young people on Medicaid.

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"This legislation would give families trying their best to help their children live with mental illness more options for alternative care in small settings," Kerry said in a statement.


The portion of the bill striking "mentally retarded" would apply to the Social Security Act, which includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Grassley emphasized that the new care option under Medicaid would mean better access to home- or community-based treatments for many young people with mental health needs — providing an alternative to institutional care.

"The federal government should give states incentives to use community-based settings for children with intensive mental health needs," Grassley said.

"This bipartisan legislation will give states the tools they need to provide care through smaller settings." 

The Senate recently approved a bill striking the word "lunatic" from everywhere that it appears in the federal code.

That bill, introduced by Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOvernight Regulation: Feds push to clarify regs on bump stocks | Interior wants Trump to shrink two more monuments | Navajo Nation sues over monument rollback | FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Senate panel approves bill easing Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Finance: GOP delays work on funding bill amid conservative demands | Senate panel approves Fed nominee Powell | Dodd-Frank rollback advances | WH disputes report Mueller subpoenaed Trump bank records Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (R-Idaho), was praised by health groups. 

A release for the Grassley-Kerry bill said the measure has been endorsed by more than 35 advocacy groups.