Press Release

President’s Budget Threatens the Public’s Health

May 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May, 23 2017               

Washington, D.C. – The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is raising serious concerns about the President’s proposed FY2018 budget proposal today, arguing that the deep cuts to public health would undermine the ability of urban health departments to safeguard Americans on a number of fronts.

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).

“Federal cuts this deep threaten health department capacity in local communities across the country. The cuts proposed in the President’s budget will erode our already-fragile public health system and could have devastating outcomes for urban health departments – and the nation as a whole,” said Chrissie Juliano, Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition.

“A strong public health system promotes health, prevents illness, and responds to natural disasters and other emergencies – keeping Americans healthy and safe. The loss of more than a billion dollars to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would hamper efforts to respond to the opioid epidemic or foodborne illness outbreaks and prevent emerging infectious diseases like Zika, among other threats.”

The following funding cuts pose the greatest threat to urban health departments:

·      A $109 million cut (17%) to the CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program and a $28 million cut (11%) to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Hospital Preparedness (HPP) program.

·      Creation of a state block grant program at CDC that consolidates and deeply cuts ($222 million) chronic disease prevention programs, at a time when chronic diseases are driving the growth in health care costs, death, and disability.

·       Deep cuts ($186 million) to infectious disease prevention programs at CDC such as those that work to prevent HIV, STDs, and TB.

CONTACT: Max Mays mays@bigcitieshealth.org or 913-233-6830 

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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 nearly 62 million people, or one in five Americans. For more information, visit https://www.bigcitieshealth.org.