Letters to Congress and the Administration

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ASTHO and NACCHO Send Joint Letter to Hill Urging a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction

Nov. 27, 2012

On Tuesday, November 27, ASTHO and NACCHO sent a joint letter to House and Senate leadership urging action against the devastating cuts set to go into effect on January 2, 2013 – more commonly known as sequestration. The letter outlines the impact such funding reductions will have on state and local public health departments, stating, “nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs have already contributed to deficit reduction through the bipartisan Budget Control Act and prior spending cuts. In the last two fiscal years (FY2010-FY2012), $2.5 billion, or 8%, has already been cut from federal public health spending. If Congress and the President do not avert the sequester, NDD programs will have been cut by 20% overall between 2010 and 2021. Public health programs cannot sustain additional cuts of $2.4 billion in FY2013 alone without putting the public’s health at risk.”

Additionally, the letter outlines the importance of the Prevention and Public Health Fund for public health programs, and summarizes how additional reductions to the Fund would further cripple state and local health departments. Further cuts to the Fund would also reverse gains already made on preventing chronic disease. The Fund has already been cut by $6.25 billion from its original funding level to offset the cost of freezing the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula. You can read the letter in its entirety here.