Press Releases

Media Requests: Members of the media can contact the press office by emailing karina_borger@murkowski.senate.gov or by calling 202-224-6665 and asking for the press office.

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11.13.19

Klobuchar, Murkowski Urge Department of Health and Human Services to Examine the Collaboration between Google and Ascension Health System over Privacy Concerns

Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to examine a collaboration between Google and Ascension health system that enables Google to collect the personal health information of roughly 50 million Americans-including personally identifiable information, lab results, hospital records, and physician diagnoses-without their knowledge or consent. According to the Wall Street Journal, neither Ascension patients nor phys… Continue Reading


10.31.19

Murkowski, Casey Introduce Bill to Diversify Allied Health Workforce

Yesterday, U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act, which would make the fields of allied health workers more representative of the populations they serve. The legislation would create a $5 million per year grant program to recruit a more diverse body of professionals in the allied health fields. Allied health professionals include occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists. "… Continue Reading


10.24.19

U.S. Sens. Tina Smith, Lisa Murkowski Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Health Care Services for Native American Elders

U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)-both members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee-introduced a bipartisan bill to expand health care services to Native American elders in Minnesota, Alaska and across the country. The Strengthening Services for Native Elders Act would help tribal organizations provide a wider range of home and community-based health services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) elders, including transportation, case management, and healt… Continue Reading


10.08.19

Tester, Murkowski, Shaheen, Sullivan Spearhead Bill to Bring More Addiction Counselors to Communities

U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) recently introduced legislation to provide better access to treatment for substance use disorders by recognizing licensed addiction counselors (LACs) under Medicare. The Senators' Addiction Treatment Access Act would allow health care facilities to bill Medicare for LAC services. LACs are not currently recognized as providers by Medicare, which prevents them from receiving reimbursement a… Continue Reading


09.26.19

Murkowski, Udall, Sullivan Introduce Bill to Protect Indian Health Service Funding During Lapses in Appropriations

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced the IHS Advance Appropriations Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation which amends the Indian Health Service Improvement Act to authorize advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service by providing two-fiscal-year budget authority, shoring up the gaps in the funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS), the agency responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Th… Continue Reading


09.26.19

Murkowski, Jones, Cassidy Introduce Legislation to Give Patients Timely and Safe Access to Treatment

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), today introduced the Safe Step Act of 2019. This legislation would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to require group health plans to provide an exception process for any medication step therapy protocol, tools used by health plans to control spending on patient's medications, to help ensure patients are able to safely and efficiently access treatment. Additional cosponsors of the legislation incl… Continue Reading


09.20.19

Bipartisan Senators Urge FDA to Remove All Pod- and Cartridge Based E-Cigarettes From Market Until They Can Be Proven Safe

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), today called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless to immediately remove all pod- and cartridge-based e-cigarettes from the market, unless or until they can prove that they benefit the public health. In a letter to Sharpless, the Senators cited 530 cases of vaping-related lung disease, as well as eight deaths. Reports indi… Continue Reading


09.11.19

Murkowski Commends Administration for E-Cigarette Flavor Ban

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today commended the Trump administration for its announcement on banning flavored e-cigarettes. The U.S. Department of Human Services announced plans for the FDA to finalize a compliance policy, which would place a ban on all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes. This announcement follows a recent CDC health advisory on severe pulmonary disease associated with using e-cigarette products, which also identified the illnesses impacting adolescents and young adults, r… Continue Reading


07.31.19

Murkowski Introduces Legislation to Provide Critical Funding For Pregnant Mothers

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced new legislation to reauthorize mandatory funding at $25 million for the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) for five years, through 2024. The PAF program is a vital health and human services program that delivers funding for states and tribal entities so they can provide essential services directed to youth who are pregnant and parenting, to pregnant women who have experienced sexual violence, and other vulnerable individuals who ar… Continue Reading


07.30.19

Murkowski Commends Administration Efforts to Increase Hospital Price Transparency

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) welcomed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' announcement of newly proposed rules aimed to provide patients with clear and accessible information about the cost of healthcare. The proposed rules establish transparency requirements to make pricing information publically available as well as change payment policies under the physician fee schedule and other Part B payment policies. "Greater transparency is one key piece of the puzzle when it comes to… Continue Reading


06.28.19

Murkowski Backs Effort to Lower Cost of Health Care

During a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Executive Session, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted in favor of the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019, legislation aimed at lowering the costs of healthcare by ending surprise medical billing, creating more transparency, and increasing prescription drug competition. The legislation, which includes 54 proposals from 36 Democrats and 29 Republicans, was moved favorably out of committee by a vote 0f 20-3. "I want to acknowl… Continue Reading


06.14.19

Klobuchar, Murkowski Introduce Legislation to Protect Consumers’ Private Health Data

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced new legislation today to protect consumers' private health data. While recent reports have highlighted how home DNA testing kits and health data tracking apps have given companies access to unprecedented levels of consumer health data, current law does not adequately address the emerging privacy concerns presented by these new technologies. The Protecting Personal Health Data Act addresses these health privacy concern… Continue Reading


02.27.19

Baldwin, Murkowski, Ernst, Brown Introduce Bipartisan Reform to Ensure Coverage for Children Born with Congenital Anomalies or Birth Defects

U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today reintroduced bipartisan legislation to ensure health insurance coverage for needed treatment and procedures for individuals born with congenital anomalies or birth defects. The Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act would close a coverage gap to ensure that health plans cover medically necessary services related to a patient's anomaly or birth defect, including any serious dental and oral-related pro… Continue Reading


02.26.19

Duckworth, Murkowski, Chu & Walorski Re-Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Expand Coverage for Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors

U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), along with U.S. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA-27) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2) today re-introduced legislation to ensure breast cancer patients and survivors who have experienced a mastectomy are able to access custom breast prosthetics under Medicare. The Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act would provide coverage for custom fabricated breast prostheses, the only human body part not currently covered by Medicare, to the more than 144,… Continue Reading


02.14.19

Managing Pain During the Opioid Crisis

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) this week joined her colleagues on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in an oversight hearing to better understand causes of pain, how we improve managing patient care, and the status of developing new medicines and methods to manage and treat pain. The Committee heard from the following witnesses: Cindy Steinberg- U.S. Pain Foundation; Halena Gazelka, M.D.- Mayo Clinic Opioid Stewardship Program and Mayo Clinic Impatient Pain Service;… Continue Reading


02.12.19

Klobuchar, Murkowski Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Support Behavioral Health Crisis Response Training for Law Enforcement

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced bipartisan legislation to fund behavioral health crisis response training for law enforcement. The Behavioral Health Crisis Response Improvements Act will support state and local law enforcement agencies with training for officers who respond to cases involving people with a mental illness or substance use disorder. "People struggling with mental health or substance use disorders are some of the most vulnerable members of o… Continue Reading


01.30.19

First Full Committee Healthcare Hearing of the Year Focuses on Improving Access to Healthcare

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) recently participated in a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee oversight hearing focused on health centers and healthcare providers in underserved areas. The hearing highlighted a bill introduced by HELP Committee chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray to provide funding extensions for the Community Health Center program, the National Health Service Corps, the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, the S… Continue Reading


12.20.18

Alaska Congressional Delegation Applauds Land Transfer for Being Signed into Law

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young (all R-AK) today commended President Trump for signing S. 825, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium land Transfer Act, into law. This legislation transfers to Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) a parcel of federal land in Sitka, Alaska, allowing the organization to further improve health care services for the region. "I'm encouraged to know that this legislation will allow SEARHC to renovate one of the o… Continue Reading


10.24.18

Comprehensive Bill to Fight Opioid Crisis Signed into Law

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) applauded President Trump for signing into law today the final bipartisan, bicameral opioid legislative package the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which passed the Senate on October 3 in a 98-1 vote. As a member of the Senate HELP Committee, Senator Murkowski secured provisions in the final package which bolster research initiatives, address the shortage of professionals to provide treatment and recovery services, and create a tangible system for mea… Continue Reading


09.21.18

Committee Addresses Transparency to Reduce Healthcare Costs

In Alaska and the rest of the United States, patients rarely know the cost of medical services before receiving care, and costs can vary significantly depending on where one chooses to receive care. U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) this week participated in a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing to reduce healthcare costs by making healthcare information on cost and quality more transparent. The hearing featured witnesses Leah Binder, President & CEO of the Leap… Continue Reading

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