Decreasing Costs

Decreasing Costs and Increasing Affordability

Senator Murray believes we must identify and tackle the issues that are driving up health care costs to make it more affordable – which is one of Senator Murray’s top goals as a member of both the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services.

Early detection and screening are key elements to cutting down health care costs, as well as increasing people’s chances of recovering from serious diseases and conditions.  Senator Murray has supported legislation and funding for programs that would encourage such efforts, including:

  • The Affordable Care Act —The health care reform law contains a number of preventive health care measures that will improve the public health to help Americans live healthy lives and help restrain the growth of health care costs over time. It also contains several cost-containing measures, including significant improvements to the Medicare Part D program. - More
  • Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act – Senator Murray helped pass this bill out of Committee and helped it become law.  It protects the public health by providing the FDA with certain authority to regulate tobacco products.
  • National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 – Senator Murray cosponsored this bill, which is now law, to help low-income, uninsured, and underserved women gain access to lifesaving screening programs for early detection of breast and cervical cancers.
  • Poison Control Centers – In 2008, Senator Murray introduced a bill with Senator Burr (R-NC) to reauthorize this important program.  And throughout her time in the Senate, she has fought for more funding for Poison Control Centers.  The centers, which are staffed by toxicologists, nurses, and other professionals, operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Each year, these centers help millions of Americans get appropriate emergency information about how to respond to poison exposure.  The Health Resources and Services Administration estimates that the network of poison control centers saves approximately $1 billion annually in unnecessary federal health care costs.
  • Lupus Research, Education, Awareness, Communication, and Health Care Amendments – In 2007, Senator Murray introduced this bill to enhance the awareness and understanding of lupus by the public and health professionals.  The bill would also strengthen the nation’s research efforts to identify the causes and cure for lupus.
  • Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act – Senator Murray cosponsored this bill in 2007 to establish a grant program to provide education and outreach on newborn screening.
  • Ryan White AIDS Program – Senator Murray has been a strong supporter of increased funding for the Ryan White program, which helps provide care for low-income, uninsured and underinsured victims of AIDS and their families.
  • Family Planning – Widespread use of birth control is a critical component of preventive health care for women, and it is a driving force in reducing national rates of unintended pregnancies, STDs, and abortion.  Senator Murray has fought throughout my career for increases in funding for family planning programs. 
  • Stem Cell Research – Scientists believe that embryonic stem cell research could lead to better understanding, treatments – and possibly cures – for a huge number of devastating diseases and conditions, from cancer to Parkinson’s Disease to diabetes.  Senator Murray has continuously fought to fund and expand embryonic stem cell research in this country.