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 KerryJohn Kerry: Trump 'surrendered lock, stock and barrel' to Putin's deceptions Get ready for summit with no agenda and calculated risks Will Democrats realize that Americans are tired of war? MORE (D-Mass.) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting Senate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation 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 CrapoTrump pick to face grilling over family separations On The Money: Commerce to review uranium imports | Lawmakers urge Trump not to impose auto tariffs | White House wants steeper cuts to EPA funding | Google hit with massive B fine Dems call for hearings on Trump’s CFPB nominee to be put on hold 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.