Big Cities Health Coalition Statement on the 7th Anniversary
of the Affordable Care Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, seven years after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. House of Representatives is attempting to repeal it. Since its implementation began, essential portions of the law provided health insurance to an estimated 20 million Americans. Coupled with increased access to care, the legislation also recognized the importance of public health by creating the nation's first mandatory funding stream dedicated to preventing disease, called the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF).
The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. The Coalition is an independent project of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
"The passage of the ACA created a real opportunity for public health departments across the country to meaningfully address a variety of health needs in their communities," said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. "The Prevention and Public Health Fund was designed to support local programs that prevent disease and address the leading causes of death in America. These are the same conditions that drive our rising health care costs, such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and asthma.”
“On the ground, our members are helping Americans make the healthy choice the easy choice, stop infectious disease outbreaks, and prevent kids from bearing the brunt of environmental threats like lead and asthma. When health departments have the means to work on prevention in their communities and make their population healthier, health care dollars are saved. Today, we call on Congress to keep their promise to increase access to health care and to seize the opportunity to create a healthier generation of Americans by supporting prevention and public health."
The PPHF makes up almost 13 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has become an essential source of funding for local health departments across the country, including the members of BCHC. Juliano recently authored a blog in Health Affairs that describes what is at stake for the nation’s health if the PPHF is defunded with the repeal of the ACA. To find out more about how the PPHF advances public health and prevention in America, visit our new web page http://www.bigcitieshealth.org/pphf-info.