FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 14, 2017 CONTACT Liz Voyles, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-297-9641
Big Cities Health Coalition Denounces Latest U.S. House Effort to Cut Public Health Fund
Money Funds Local Health Departments on Front Lines of Numerous Health Emergencies
WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) denounced the introduction of House Joint Resolution 124 today, which would cut the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) by $6.35 billion over ten years and zero it out entirely for fiscal year 2018.
Importantly, this bill finally provides an additional five years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), integral to the health of millions of children across the country. However, in so doing, the U.S. House is poised to use the PPHF as an offset for those costs. The fund currently makes up 12% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget and is a major source of funding for health and prevention activities in local communities and states.
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. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 55 million people, or one in six Americans.
“Cutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund would create real setbacks for those on the front lines of protecting American’s health, in particular, those addressing ongoing hepatitis A outbreaks and the opioid epidemic. This funding supports those who track and fight infectious diseases, provides for important immunizations, and works to prevent lead poisoning in children,” said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition.
“We are hopeful the House will refrain from ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ yet again, and urge the Senate to protect this important funding stream for local health departments, whose budgets are already severely strained. It’s simply a false choice to say that local health departments must be pitted against community health centers and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which are also vital to families’ health. We can and must do better to protect the health of all Americans.”
In addition to providing important funding for both Community Health Centers and CHIP, the bill would also fund the Department of Defense through fiscal year 2018 and all other government agencies through January 19, 2018, via a continuing resolution.