FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   March 11, 2019               CONTACT Liz Voyles, liz@brassrc.com, 202-297-9641

Big City Health Coalition Officials Condemn President’s Proposed Sharp Reductions in Health Funding

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Officials leading the nation’s largest health departments condemned the President’s annual budget request to Congress today. Among other things, the plan would cut funding at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by twelve percent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 10 percent, and domestic spending by 5 percent across the federal government.

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 62 million people, or one in five Americans.

“This proposal has already been pronounced as ‘dead on arrival,’ as it should be,” said Chrissie Juliano, Executive Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “It’s a shame that this President is not focused on the numerous health crises this nation currently faces, including the opioid epidemic, the many children put at risk due to vaccine hesitancy, and spiking rates of teen e-cigarette use, to name just a few.

“The only way to take on these crises with the seriousness they deserve is to raise the arbitrary caps on non-defense domestic spending that were put in place by Congress. It’s time to stop playing games with the nation’s health and get serious about solving the problems local health officials are addressing in their communities every day.”

The caps on non-defense discretionary funding were imposed by Congress with the Budget Control Act of 2011. Absent a bipartisan agreement, defense and non-defense discretionary spending combined would be slashed by more than 10 percent in 2020. The caps were designed to be draconian as a negotiating tool, in order to force an agreement to reduce the deficit, and were never supposed to become a reality. 

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About the Big Cities Health Coalition

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. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 62 million people, or one in five Americans. For more information, please visit http://www.bigcitieshealth.org.