Last night, Congress cut $750 million from the Prevention Fund to provide very short-term funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Today, Prevention Institute joined other leading public health organizations in releasing the statement below. We are astounded by the hypocrisy of a Congress that just this week approved a tax bill that would add a trillion dollars to the deficit, but insisted on draining already too-limited prevention funds to briefly extend CHIP funding—so as to not add to the deficit.
The richest country on earth does not need to choose between investing in prevention and covering needed healthcare services for children and people of low income. We can and must invest in both.
Thank you to all of our colleagues who have worked so hard throughout this year to safeguard investments in healthcare and public health. We wish you happy holidays and look forward to joining with you in 2018 to protect, create, and sustain communities that foster health, safety, mental wellbeing, and equity.
Statement from Trust for America’s Health, American Public Health Association, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Prevention Institute, and Public Health Institute
Washington, D.C., December 22, 2017—It is a serious mistake to cut $750 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to provide very short-term funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers. The below is a statement from the American Public Health Association, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Prevention Institute, Public Health Institute, and Trust for America’s Health:
“The Prevention Fund supports critical public health activities—including lead poisoning surveillance, vaccination initiatives and other programs—in every state and community across the country. Cutting this significant funding source would leave communities without the vital resources needed to keep children and families happy, healthy and safe. It is even more alarming and contradictory that this cut will be used to provide very short-term funding for CHIP and community health centers. Our organizations are united in support of CHIP and community health centers, which are vital to improving children’s health. But losing the Prevention Fund would just create another hole in the public health support children need.
The Prevention Fund is supported strongly by national, state and local groups alike—indeed to date 1,142 have joined the Prevention Fund supporter’s list. They know the value of the $630 million annually that goes directly to states and communities to prevent illness and disease. A strong public health system makes the difference between health and illness, safety and injury, life and death.
We urge Congress to oppose any and all future cuts to the Prevention Fund and to begin the long-overdue process of increasing support to CHIP, community health centers, CDC and other public health agencies so today’s children can be our healthiest and happiest generation.”