A picture of Representative Henry A. Waxman
Henry W.
Former Democrat CA 33
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    Poison Center Network Act

    by Former Representative Henry A. Waxman

    Posted on 2014-01-08

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    WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill before us: H.R. 3527, the Poison Center Network Act.

    This bill reauthorizes the Poison Control Program. I have been a strong supporter of poison control centers over the years and co- sponsored the 2000 legislation first authorizing the program.

    There is currently a nationwide network of poison control centers-- due in large part to federal support for these centers. Poison control centers play a crucial role in reducing injuries and deaths caused by poison exposure, such as from household products, chemicals in the workplace, and medicine. Studies have shown that these poison control centers reduce the severity of illness and death caused by poison exposure--a leading cause of unintentional injury death--and save money by reducing the number of unnecessary trips to the emergency room.

    In California alone, the poison control system has managed millions of cases since its inception in 1997. The system consults on hundreds of thousands of cases each year. And in just one year, the work of the California system is estimated to save $70 million in health care costs and avert more than 60,000 emergency room visits.

    H.R. 3527 reauthorizes and makes enhancements to the ``Poison Center Support, Enhancement, and Awareness Act of 2008.'' The bill extends State grants to establish and operate poison centers; maintains a national toll-free number to ensure access to poison center services by connecting callers to the poison center serving their area; and supports a national media campaign to educate the public and health care providers about poison prevention, poison center services, and the toll-free number.

    I am glad we were able to work in a bipartisan manner to move this important public health measure through our Committee and bring it to the House floor today. I'd like to commend Energy and Commerce Members, Representatives Eliot Engel and Lee Terry, for their leadership on this bill.

    I support this measure, and I urge my colleagues to join me in voting in support of H.R. 3527.

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