Over 110 Organizations Call on Senate to Oppose Cuts to Prevention Fund

Sep 20, 2023

Washington, DC – September 20, 2023 – Trust for America’s Health, American Public Health Association, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Big Cities Health Coalition, Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and more than 100 other organizations representing public health, healthcare, research, social services, and other sectors, today released a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee opposing a committee proposal to cut $980 million from the Prevention & Public Health Fund (“the Prevention Fund”) to pay for other health legislation.

The Prevention Fund is a critical source of funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies across Health and Human Services. The Prevention Fund invests in states and communities across the nation to strengthen systems and the workforce that allow us to provide immunizations, detect and control outbreaks, and prevent illness and early deaths from tobacco and chronic diseases. It supports activities outside one’s doctor’s office – separate and distinct from individual health concerns and treatments.

In an already challenging budget environment, this would further endanger the health of Americans. These cuts would impact not only health programs, but also labor and education, as it will leave a significant gap in base appropriations for the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill that will need to be backfilled. This pay-for has far reaching consequences for all of the programs that fall under the spending bill’s purview.

The letter in part reads:

“The nation can no longer afford to underfund public health…. Despite spending more than any other high-income nation on treating disease, the U.S. has substantially worse health outcomes, with life expectancy declining in recent years. Now is the time to invest in public health and prevention…

Cuts to the Prevention Fund will translate into funding shortfalls in programs that states have long relied upon to keep their residents healthy and safe. In its first 14 years (FY2010–23), the Prevention Fund has invested more than $12.3 billion in resources to states, localities, and tribal and community organizations in support of critical prevention and public health programs. These investments include the 317 immunization program that enables prevention of outbreaks, epidemiologists and public health laboratory grants in every state and territory to detect and investigate outbreaks and prevent further infections, the Preventive Health and Health Services (Prevent) Block Grant that enables states and localities to address their most pressing health concerns, supporting cancer screenings, and other critically important programs. Across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Prevention Fund supports programs such as suicide prevention, Alzheimer’s disease prevention, and chronic disease self-management.

Funding prevention not only saves lives, but it also saves money. The Prevention Fund’s Tips from Former Smokers Campaign alone saved an estimated $7.3 billion in smoking-related healthcare costs from 2012 to 2018 and helped more than one million Americans quit smoking for good. Public health funding has not kept up with the range of threats that public health must address. For many of these conditions, we know what works, but public health does not have the resources to address these growing health threats.”

The full text of the letter is linked here.

Information about the Prevention and Public Health Fund can be found here.

Organizations Joining the Letter:

ADAP Advocacy

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association on Health and Disability

American College of Clinical Pharmacy

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American College of Physicians

American College of Preventive Medicine

American College of Sports Medicine

American Heart Association

American Lung Association

American Public Health Association

American Society for Microbiology

American Society on Aging

American Statistical Association

Association for Prevention Teaching and Research

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of Immunization Managers

Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs

Association of Pathology Chairs

Association of Public Health Laboratories

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Big Cities Health Coalition

CAEAR Coalition

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of Elders (CARIE)

Children’s Environmental Health Network

Christian Council of Delmarva

City-County Health District

Colorado Public Health Association

Community Access National Network

Connecticut Public Health Association

Cook County Department of Public Health

Dorchester County Health Department

Early Impact Virginia

Endocrine Society

Eta Sigma Gamma

Foundation for Healthy Generations

Futures Without Violence

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality

GO2 for Lung Cancer

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, Inc

Health Promotion Consultants

Healthy Weight Partnership Inc.

HIV Medicine Association

HLN Consulting, LLC

Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness

Immunize.org

Institute for Public Health Innovation

International WELL Building Institute

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition

Kentucky Voices for Health

Kids and Car Safety

Lakeshore Foundation

Linn County Public Health

Maine Public Health Association

March of Dimes

Marked By Covid

MaryCatherine Jones Consulting, LLC

Mel Leaman Free Clinic

Mental Health America

Minnesota Public Health Association

NASTAD

National Alliance of Public Health Students and Alums

National Association of Chronic Disease Directors

National Association of County and City Health Officials

National Association of Social Workers

National Center for Healthy Housing

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

National Network of Public Health Institutes

National Nurse-Led Care Consortium

National Prevention Science Coalition

Nemours Children’s Health

New Jersey Public Health Association

New York State Public Health Association

Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials

Peggy Lillis Foundation

Pennsylvania Public Health Association

Population Association of America

Prevent Blindness

Prevent Blindness Georgia

Prevent Blindness Ohio

Prevent Blindness Wisconsin

Prevent Child Abuse America

Prevention Institute

Public Health Foundation

Public Health Institute

Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness

Resolve to Save Lives

RiverStone Health

Safe States Alliance

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Society for Public Health Education

Society for Women’s Health Research

Sound Generations

Sound Generations – Project Enhance

Spina Bifida Association

Task Force for Global Health

The 317 Coalition

The Foundation for Sustainable Communities

The Gerontological Society of America

Trust for America’s Health

USAging

Vaccinate Your Family

Voices for Vaccines

Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials

Washington State Public Health Association

Well-Being and Equity in the World

Wisconsin Public Health Association

YMCA of the USA


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