FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913
Washington, D.C., Nov. 1, 2017 — In a letter to members of Congress this week, the American Public Health Association strongly opposed plans to defund the Prevention and Public Health Fund in order to pay for reauthorization of other essential health programs.
The U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to vote on legislation to reauthorize funding for important health programs including community health centers, the National Health Service Corps and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, among others. Unfortunately, the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act includes a $10.5 billion cut in funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund as part of the offsets to pay for extending these other programs.
“We strongly urge you to immediately extend funding for the safety net programs that expired on Sept. 30, and urge you to do so without using any portion of the prevention fund as an offset,” wrote APHA executive director Georges Benjamin, MD, in the letter to members of Congress.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund provides critical resources to our state and local health departments to keep our communities healthy and safe from infectious disease, lead poisoning, tobacco-related diseases and much more.
The letter added, “Funding these programs at the expense of other public health programs is counterproductive and shortsighted. Funding for public health is essential for preventing illness and injury, and for keeping children and families healthy.”
As the letter explains, the fund currently makes up 12 percent of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget. Cuts to the fund would therefore devastate the agency’s financial resources.
APHA urges the House of Representatives to find other means of funding these critical safety net programs without cutting funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
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.