FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 16, 2017                                                         CONTACT: Liz Voyles, liz@brassrc.com, 202-297-9671  

Big Cities Health Coalition Denounces Congressional Efforts to Cut Taxes at Expense of America’s Health

Tax Bill Would Likely Do Away with Prevention and Public Health Fund that Helps Communities Prepare for Outbreaks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Big Cities Health Coalition today condemned the latest Congressional effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) along with added threats to the individual mandate, this time through tax reform efforts. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is expected to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives today, will harm the public’s health in a number of ways.

“Because of the reckless way these tax cuts are being pushed through Congress with little regard for unintended consequences, this bill presents yet another threat to the public’s health,” said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “As proposed, the bill will lead to draconian cuts to the systems and people who fight infectious disease emergencies, such as the current and growing hepatitis A outbreak. Further, the House is putting critical resources at risk that are used by local health departments to detect outbreaks and deliver vaccines to vulnerable adults. Cutting this funding now fans the flames of an ongoing public health crisis, and creates real roadblocks for the health departments that are on the front lines, keeping our communities healthy and safe.”

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.

The PPHF makes up 12 percent of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Budget. It supports America’s defenses against infectious disease outbreaks by providing resources for adult immunization programs and epidemiological lab capacity, among other public health efforts.  

“Doing away with the individual mandate threatens to wreak havoc on our health care system, leaving millions at risk,” said Juliano. “As the country simultaneously battles a hepatitis A outbreak, the opioids crisis, and attempts to rebuild after two major hurricanes, cutting federal support to local communities across the country is nothing short of irresponsible.”

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