US proposes new rules for child-health program

Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler, pledging a ''renewed commitment to child health,'' proposed changes in a medical screening and treatment program for poor children. Under the new rules for the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program, states would face less paperwork but tighter program standards. The Reagan administration had tried to water down the rules last year.

Under the program, which is run by Medicaid, some 2 million children - out of 11 million eligible - are tested annually for vision, hearing, dental, or other health problems. The screening cost $52 million in state and federal funds in 1981. If the examinations turn up problems, states are required to offer treatment, including immunizations.

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