FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  May 9, 2019                CONTACT Liz Voyles, liz@brassrc.com, 202-297-9641

Coalition of Big City Health Officials Applauds House Appropriations Committee Passage of Health Funding Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) commended the House Appropriations Committee, for approving the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill. The coalition thanks Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Chair of the LHHS Subcommittee, and Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee for their leadership.  

The legislation makes new investments in the nation’s critical public health infrastructure that are sorely needed for the country to address 21st century challenges. Appropriators added an $8.5 billion increase for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and a $921 million increase The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We applaud House Appropriators for showing leadership and support for those on the front lines of the nation’s biggest health challenges,” said Chrissie Juliano, Executive Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “This bill supports the work of public health officials across this country who are on the front lines confronting the opioid epidemic, measles outbreaks, soaring rates of chronic disease, and violence that ravage our communities. We look forward to working with members of Congress to ensure this funding is sustained and reaches the local communities that need it most.”   

The Big Cities Health 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 62 million people, or one in five Americans.

Specifically, the bill would strengthen the nation’s public health system with the following investments:

·      $476 million for CDC to address the opioid epidemic. It is critical that these funds reach the local health departments on the front lines of this work and help devise and support a broader prevention strategy that focuses on prevention, and fighting the rise of diseases related to the increase in needle use among those with a drug use disorder.

·      $50 million in new funding for the CDC to conduct public health research into gun safety and injury prevention.

·      $650 million for CDC’s 317 Immunization program, an increase of $39 million, that is especially essential now as the nation battles a sharp rise in measles cases and Hepatitis A outbreaks.  

·      $100 million in new funding for CDC to support the creation of a common data platform that is critical to modernizing state and local disease surveillance and monitoring systems.

The coalition is pleased that Congress continues to support the Prevention and Public Health Fund, an important component of CDC’s funding, that provides a foundation for the nation’s public health infrastructure, including its local health departments. The coalition will continue to advocate to raise the destructive, arbitrary discretionary funding caps presently in place, and to increase the federal investment in CDC by 22 percent by fiscal year 2022. 

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The Big Cities Health 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 62 million people, or one in five Americans. http://www.bigcitieshealth.org/