Washington, DC, March 7, 2017 - The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing nearly 3,000 local health departments, is disappointed that the “American Healthcare Act” eliminates funding for core public health programs that keeps communities healthy and safe.
The “American Healthcare Act” eradicates funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) in FY2019, which makes up 12% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) funding. Among the programs at risk at the CDC are the 317 Immunization Program, Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, and Diabetes Prevention, among others.
“The Prevention and Public Health Fund provides vital resources to governmental public health at the federal, state, and local levels, and its elimination will serve to further erode our public health system. Congress continues to invest the nation’s health resources in a sick care system, while severely scaling back investment in programs that prevent people from getting sick in the first place,” said NACCHO’s Chief of Government Affairs Laura Hanen, MPP.
In addition, the “American Healthcare Act” ends funding in FY2020 for the Medicaid expansion in 32 states, which has provided access to primary and emergency care to millions of Americans. The bill also caps federal Medicaid funding that will ultimately result in shifting responsibility to the states and counties ? leaving governors, state legislatures, and local governments facing tight budgets with no choice but to reduce coverage for millions of seniors, low-income families, people with disabilities, and children.
“The bill’s provisions would severely handicap seniors and working families that are struggling to meet basic necessities, including food and shelter, and would create an untenable situation where increased costs will put healthcare out of reach for these citizens,” said Hanen. “Our nation is stronger when everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. The House bill would severely impact access to care for low-income Americans and maintenance of a good quality of life for all.”