FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   November 3, 2017                                                                CONTACT Liz Voyles, liz@brassrc.com, 202-297-9641  

Big Cities Health Coalition Disappointed by U.S. House Vote to Dismantle Public Health Fund – Urges Senate to Protect Prevention Dollars

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted to essentially eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund by passing the Community Health and Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation Act (H.R. 3922). The fund makes up 12% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget. Should this bill become law, it would cut more than $6 billion of the fund and do away with it entirely from  FY 2020-2026. It is imperative that the Senate act more responsibly and protect this important funding stream.

The Coalition 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. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 55 million people, or one in six Americans.

“Gutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund would be detrimental to the health of Americans across the country. It supports programs that provide for free immunizations, systems that identify and track infectious diseases such as Ebola, and the work to prevent lead poisoning in children every day,” said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “The fund also provides resources to prevent the chronic diseases that are ever present in our communities and drive up health care costs.”

“The Senate should not repeat this mistake. Elected officials should be doing all they can to support local health departments that are simultaneously fighting multiple disease outbreaks, working to reduce health disparities and serving on the front lines of the opioid epidemic. There is a way to fund prevention programs, sustain community health centers and continue the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Anything less is robbing Peter to pay Paul and is forcing our nation to make a false choice with grave consequences.”

The Community Health and Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation Act was previously called the CHAMPION Act. It includes important funding for both Community Health Centers and the Children Health Insurance Program, but uses the Prevention and Public Health Fund as an offset.

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