Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund—which has the support of more than 900 organizations—would set Public Health back by a Decade
Washington, D.C., September 29, 2015 – Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) released a letter detailing strong opposition to the Reconciliation Instructions proposed for consideration by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, stating that eliminating funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund would set public health back by a decade.
The letter also notes that more than 900 state and national organizations have already pledged their support for the Prevention Fund and details the successes of the Fund.
The letter, in part, reads:
“In the first six years since its inception, the Prevention Fund has invested nearly $5.25 billion in resources to states, communities, tribal and community organizations in support of community-based prevention, including tobacco use prevention, healthy eating and active living, as well as childhood immunizations and clinical prevention. Decimating the Prevention Fund in this manner would dramatically impede efforts underway to improve health, including:
- The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, which was doubled under the Prevention Fund and provides all 50 states, the District of Columbia, two American Indian tribes, and eight U.S. territories with flexible funding to address their unique public health issues at the state and community level.
- Expanding Access to Cancer Screenings: In FY 2015, the Fund provided $104 million for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which is helping states across the country provide cancer screenings to high risk women who are uninsured or underinsured.
- The successful Tips from Former Smokers campaign, which in just its first three months inspired more than 1.6 million people to try to quit smoking, and more than 100,000 smokers have quit for good.
- Funding for the section 317 childhood immunization program, which has been vital to preventing and responding to measles outbreaks, and epidemiology and laboratory capacity in all states, which are key to preventing and containing infectious disease outbreaks.
“These are just a few examples of the work underway thanks to the Prevention Fund. Massively reducing the Fund would set back public health by a decade, and would slash life-saving investments in every state that are desperately needed. For example, chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, and stroke are now responsible for seven out of 10 deaths and account for 86 percent of health care spending in America. An approach to deficit reconciliation that cuts prevention may in fact have the opposite effect – less prevention of illness and disease and increased future health care spending.”
Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.