FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  July 28, 2017                                                        CONTACT: Liz Voyles, 202-297-9641, liz@brassrc.com

Big Cities Health Coalition Thanks U.S. Senate for Protecting Americans’ Health

Repeal Bill would have Caused Lasting Damage to America's Health

Washington, D.C. – Early this morning, the U.S. Senate failed to repeal key components of the Affordable Care Act, which would have set in motion a draconian dismantling of the protections that keep Americans healthy and safe from harm, while simultaneously placing health care coverage out of reach for at least 16 million Americans. The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) thanks Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), as well as the Senate Democratic Caucus, for voting no.

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). Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 54 million people, or one in six Americans.

“We thank all the Senators who sided with the American people this morning by withholding their support from the Senate’s reckless proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act,” said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “If this bill had become law, it would have resulted not just in massive coverage losses for Americans on Medicaid and private insurance, it also would have also dealt a tragic blow to the country’s system of public health protections, causing preventable and unnecessary suffering for many.

“We look forward to working with members of Congress from both sides of aisle as they look to improve the Affordable Care Act, while protecting the public health investments that are crucial to making Americans healthier. We also encourage appropriators to preserve crucial public health funding sources - like the Prevention and Public Health Fund - that fight chronic diseases, like heart disease and cancer, which are major drivers of health care costs and leading causes of death among Americans each year. These funds support the community health workers across the country who stand on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, natural disasters, and disease outbreaks like Zika and Ebola. These are vitally important efforts that align with legislators’ goals of creating a stronger, more secure nation.”

All of the proposed repeal bills would have eliminated the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which makes up roughly 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget and distributes $3 billion in essential public health funding to cities and states.

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 54 million people, or one in six Americans. The Big Cities Health Coalition is an independent project of the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). For more information, please visit http://www.bigcitieshealth.org/.

###