Fund News

NATIONAL. More than the ACA: We Can’t Stop Fighting Now (Huffington Post)

By Dr. Oxiris Barbot, First Deputy Commissioner, NYC Health Department

Since the start of the new presidential administration, the onslaught of policies and executive orders have been met with outcries from communities, organizations and elected officials. In the medical community, there was an almost unprecedented bipartisan opposition to the White House’s proposed American Health Care Act. To some, the protection of the Affordable Care Act has given us a rare time to celebrate, rest and regroup.

Now is not that time.

Not one of us should have the delusion that an insurance card will be a game changer when it comes to addressing longstanding and dire health inequities. If we truly want to ensure America’s health, activists, physicians and medical organizations can’t just mobilize for preservation of the Affordable Care Act. We must respond with equal vigor to immigration reform, housing quality and segregation, civil rights and other policies that could shape the nation for generations. When 80 percent of health is determined by the context of our lives, confining advocacy to access to medical care is reckless and irresponsible.

In a brave new world, here’s how we move forward:

#1 Collect Data for Action

Medicine and health rely on facts. There can be no alternatives. The need to collect robust data and shape the narrative of health has never been more urgent. By quantifying the human toll of defunding Planned Parenthood, reducing SNAP benefits through the Farm Bill and block-granting Medicaid, we proactively treat more patients than a doctor could during a shift in the ER, or an entire career. Read more. 

KNOXVILLE. Letter: Lawmakers must protect Prevention and Public Health Fund (Knoxville News Sentinel)

By Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America

Regarding Paul Erwin and Doris Spain's guest column, "Protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund," illnesses that are largely preventable -- heart disease, cancer and influenza -- remain top causes of death in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that half of all U.S. adults have one or more of these and other chronic health conditions. These realities underscore the importance of the Prevention and Public Health Fund -- authorized and funded under the Affordable Care Act -- which helps states like Tennessee keep communities healthy and safe by providing resources for immunizations, chronic disease prevention and cancer screenings. The Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program is one example of many. As Erwin and Spain note, without the fund, Tennessee could lose millions of dollars and experience heart-breaking loss of life. Read more.

Senate and House Leaders Raise Concerns About the Impact of President Trump's Decisions on HHS and CDC Preparedness for a Flu Pandemic (Senator Elizabeth Warren Press Release)

Washington, D.C. - Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), along with Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Gene Green (D-Texas), and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), today wrote to Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ask how several actions taken by the Trump administration could harm the CDC's preparedness for a pandemic flu outbreak.  Read more. 

Full text of the letter available here (PDF)

GOP Health Care Plan Would Eliminate an Important Disease Prevention Fund (Route Fifty)

WASHINGTON — Amid discussions surrounding the new health care proposal introduced by U.S. House Republicans this week, a lot of attention has been paid to the future of Medicaid, the Planned Parenthood funding freeze, and the implications of eliminating the individual mandate. But there’s one subtler—and no less crucial—change that will impact the entire fabric of the American public health system that state and local governments shouldn’t overlook. Read more. 

ACA Repeal Would Mean Massive Cuts To Public Health, Leaving Cities And States At Risk (Health Affairs Blog)

By Chrissie Juliano

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed a little over six years ago, it brought with it the promise of health insurance for all Americans. It also sought to begin to shift the paradigm for health care in this country, emphasizing value over volume, and recognizing the importance of prevention coupled with appropriate access to care. Read more. 

Prevention and Public Health Fund on the Chopping Block? (The Scientist)

By Tracy Vence

Update March 7: House Republicans have released a plan to “repeal and replace” the ACA, which includes the elimination of the Prevention and Public Health Fund by 2019, Vox reported.

“Look, it’s a slush fund,” Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) told
STAT News. “It’s been used by the secretary [of Health and Human Services] for whatever the secretary wants. It’s a misnomer to call it the Prevention and Public Health Fund, because it’s been used for other things, and it’s about time we eliminated it.” Read more.