FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Washington, D.C., Sept. 18, 2017 — The American Public Health Association announced its strong opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill, the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, in a letter sent to the Senate today.
"Much like previous proposals to repeal or weaken the ACA, the Graham-Cassidy plan would take health insurance coverage away from millions of people, eliminate critical public health funding, devastate the Medicaid program, increase out-of-pocket costs and weaken or eliminate protections for people living with pre-existing conditions," wrote Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA.
APHA argued against provisions that would end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and significantly reduce federal Medicaid funding to all states putting the most vulnerable Americans at risk.
"Consistent with previous proposals, the Graham-Cassidy plan would also eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the first and only mandatory funding stream specifically dedicated to public health and prevention activities," APHA stated in the letter.
The fund has provided more than $6 billion to support a variety of public health activities in every state including tracking and preventing infectious diseases, preventing childhood lead poisoning and expanding access to childhood immunizations. The fund also provides 12 percent of the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
APHA argued that the ACA has made significant progress in reducing the number of uninsured Americans and investing in prevention, among other public health improvements.
"We ask you to oppose this and future efforts to repeal or weaken the ACA," wrote Benjamin. "Instead, we urge you to continue the bipartisan efforts to improve and build upon the successes of the ACA, and ensure health insurance coverage to the more than 28 million who still lack coverage.
APHA is activating is members and supporters to urge senators to oppose the Graham-Cassidy proposal.
APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a 145-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.