Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 26, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, today I am proud to reintroduce the Preventive Health Savings Act. This bipartisan legislation would reform the Congressional Budget Office's CBO, scoring to better reflect the savings from preventive health initiatives by expanding the budgetary window the CBO evaluates.

Currently, the CBO scores the budgetary implications of legislation over a 10-year period. Oftentimes, however, the cost-savings of preventive care are not clear within the current 10-year ``scoring'' window. This legislation would direct the CBO to extend its analysis beyond the existing 10-year budget window to two additional 10-year periods, which will give a truer picture of the benefits of health initiatives and better enable Congress to pass effective policies.

Chronic and mental health conditions account for 90 percent of our Nation's $4.1 trillion in annual medical expenditures. In 2018, more than half of U.S. adults had 1 of 10 chronic conditions, and 27.2 percent had multiple chronic conditions, and this number is only expected to grow. Chronic diseases disproportionally affect racial and ethnic minorities. For example, when compared to non-Hispanic White adults, Black adults are 1.6 times, Asian American adults are 1.4 times, Hispanic adults are 1.7 times, American Indian and Alaska Native adults are 2.9 times, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults are 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Additionally, Black adults are 1.4 times, American Indian and Alaska Native adults are 1.2 times, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults are 1.3 times more likely to have asthma than non-Hispanic Whites.

As more Americans experience chronic conditions, the healthcare costs in the United States will continue to rise. Not only are these costs a heavy burden on millions of Americans and their families, but they are also primary drivers of our annual Federal budget deficits and accumulated debt. As medical expenditures continue to rise, it is crucial that we capture the long-term savings that can be achieved by focusing our efforts on averting, halting, or slowing preventable diseases. This is why I have long been a champion for expanded access to affordable, high-quality preventive health care and am proud to have championed initiatives from coverage for colon screenings to increased access to oral health care. But we still have progress to make.

I am encouraged by the cutting-edge research that world-class institutions in my home State of Maryland, such as the National Institutes of Health, NIH, are doing to address chronic diseases. Interventions, including screenings, vaccinations, and behavioral changes, can prevent or delay the onset of new cases and mitigate the progression of a preventable illness, which can result in large reductions in the financial, physical, and emotional toll of developing one or more chronic diseases. By having the data to enable us as lawmakers to look at cost-benefit analyses, we can most effectively use our Nation's resources to improve the health of Americans while reducing medical costs. The first step to altering the trajectory of chronic diseases and curbing healthcare costs is to have more accurate information on the cost savings of preventive care.

I thank Senators Crapo, King, and Cramer for joining me in introducing this legislation and urge my other Senate colleagues to consider cosponsoring the measure. ______

By Mr. DURBIN (for himself and Ms. Duckworth):

S. 121. A bill to amend the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to require the provision of training and information to certain personnel relating to food allergy identification and response, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.