Press Room

Vital Public Health Programs will be Eliminated with Passage of AHCA

ARLINGTON, VA (May 4, 2017)

Michael Fraser, executive director of ASTHO, issued the following statement on the American Health Care Act:

“With today's vote in Congress, ASTHO is deeply concerned about the uncertainty of prevention and public health activities supported by the Affordable Care Act and provisions which may be repealed—and not replaced—in the AHCA.

Specifically, the AHCA eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is used by every state and territory to support vital public health programs that promote health, prevent disease, and allow for rapid response to emerging public health threats.

The fund will be fully eliminated if the AHCA passes the Senate vote, and any remaining funds will be rescinded at the end of fiscal year 2018. This “penny-wise pound foolish” move will eliminate funding for core prevention and public health programs and lead to increased costs to the healthcare delivery system in the future.

With CDC set to lose nearly $1 billion in resources to prevent disease and promote health currently in the Prevention and Public Health Fund, we must come up with alternative solutions to provide states and territories with the support they need to keep their citizens healthy and safe. Preventing disease and promoting health is the only way we are going to reverse our nation’s lagging health outcomes. Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund is a critical mistake. Fiscally-strapped states and territories will not be able to make up the difference. Sustained prevention and public health investments are needed to protect all Americans from new and emerging infectious diseases, disasters, and chronic health threats.” 

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ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in state-based public health practice.

Call ASTHO's main phone line at (202) 371-9090 or contact Jane Esworthy jesworthy@astho.org (571) 318-5431. Follow us on Twitter.

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