Coalition Joins Other Health Orgs in Calling on President to End Shutdown

January 2019

January 17, 2019

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

With the partial government shutdown nearing the four-week point, the undersigned organizations call on Congress and the President to immediately reopen the government to minimize any further impact on the public’s health and wellbeing. Several agencies’ ability to provide critical services, ranging from food and environmental risk inspections to health services, have already been drastically reduced or are threatened if the shutdown continues. We fear a prolonged shutdown will cause needless suffering and have long-lasting health consequences.

Basic health protections could be endangered by an ongoing shutdown. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is suspending its routine food inspections except at “high-risk facilities,” and its ability to enforce food safety rules may be sharply impaired as 40 percent of its workforce is furloughed. The FDA oversees 80 percent of the food supply, and regular inspections and enforcement help stop foodborne illness before people get sick. The FDA also will not be able to assess new drug and device applications if the shutdown continues, meaning life-saving innovations will take longer to come to market.

There are also increased environmental risks to the health of the public. The Environmental Protection Agency has suspended its inspections of chemical factories, power plants and water treatment operations while the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is no longer investigating and assessing environmental health threats.

The shutdown is having cascading impacts on the public’s health through loss of income and potential cuts to programs that families rely on for health and economic stability. Access to nutrition and food assistance, breastfeeding support and infant nutrition through U.S. Department of Agriculture programs is critical to maintaining health and performance in school and work. Programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) are at serious risk of benefit cuts if the shutdown continues. And 800,000 Americans are furloughed or working without paychecks, which puts their ability to pay rent and utilities, access medicines, and put food on the table in jeopardy. Residents simply cannot maintain their health without stable housing, food and medical care.

Indian Country has been disproportionately impacted by the shutdown, which is curtailing health care and programs for American Indian communities. The Indian Health Service (IHS) receives its funding through the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, so tribal governments are cutting other services and scraping together scarce dollars to keep health clinics operational in the short term. Many IHS employees working without pay are already reportedly looking for other jobs, which would be a huge blow to an agency that has great difficulty recruiting and retaining medical professionals in rural and remote areas. The shutdown is destabilizing Native health delivery and health care provider access, as well as destabilizing tribal governments, families, children and individuals. Services will be cut, and serious consequences to health and safety will be the result if the shutdown is not ended soon.

A prolonged shutdown will continue to put the health and safety of the nation’s residents at risk. It is vital that Congress and the President work to reopen the government as soon as possible to minimize the effects of the impasse.


Sincerely,

1,000 Days
100 Million Healthier Lives
Advocates for Better Children’s Diets
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AJ Rosen & Associates LLC
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for Dental Research
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
American College Health Association (ACHA)
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Diabetes Association
American Lung Association
American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
American Medical Women’s Association
American Muslim Health Professionals
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
American Society for Nutrition
American Thoracic Society
Arlington Food Assistance Center
Asian Health Coalition
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian Pacific Liver Center
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)
Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA, Inc.)
Association for Accredited Public Health Programs
Association for Clinical and Translational Science
Association for Psychological Science
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of Public Health Laboratories
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurse
s
Autism Society of America
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
A World Fit For Kids!
Bailey House, Inc.
Benzie Leelanau District Health Department
Berean Wellness & Community Support Center
Big Cities Health Coalition
Blue Hills Community Health Network Alliance (CHNA 20)
Boulder County Public Health
Bronx Health REACH
Brookline Public Health and Human Services
Brooklyn Coalition for Health Equity for Women and Families
CA4Health
California Food Policy Advocates
California Immunization Coalition
California Pan
-Ethnic Health Network

California Public Health Association

-North
Cause Engagement Associates
Center for Health and Learning
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
Center for Policy Analysis
Center for Population Health at Xavier University
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Ceres Community Project
ChangeLab Solutions
Chicagoland Equity Network
Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN)
Children’s Health Fund
Children
’s Mental Health Network
City
-County Health District
Claremont Healthy Village Initiative
CLASP
CLEARCorps Detroit
Climate for Health (ecoAmerica)
Clinical Immunology Society
Clinical Research Forum
Coalition for Clinical and Translational Science
Coalition for Disability Health Equity
Coalition for Health Funding
Coalition for National Health Education Organizations
Coalition on Human Needs
Colorado Children’s Campaign
Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
Community Benefit Consulting
Community Healthworx
County Welfare Directors Association of California
Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association
District Health Department No. 2
District Health Department No. 4
Doctors for America
Dorchester County Health Department
Element Health, Inc.
Equality California
Evanston Health Advisory Council
Family Solutions
Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
Georgia Society for Public Health Education
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality
Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice
Government Accountability Project
Grand Traverse County Health Department
Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health
Harm Reduction Coalition
Hawai‘i Health & Harm Reduction Center
Hawaii Public Health Institute
Health Care for America Now
HealthConnect One
Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Health, Education and Legal Assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership
Health Education Partners
Health Foundation of South Florida
Health Reimagined
Health Resources in Action
Healthy Communities Wyandotte
Healthy Kinder International
Healthy Schools Campaign
Hepatitis B Foundation
Hepatitis Education Project
Hep B United
Hep Free Hawai‘i
Hispanic Health Initiatives, Inc.
HIV Medicine Association
Hope Whispers Community Organization Inc.
Human Impact Partners
Human Rights Campaign
iHealth
Immunization Action Coalition
Immunize Nevada
Impetus – Let’s Get Started LLC
Improving Kids’ Environments
Indigescuela
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage and Disability, Inc.
Iowa Hunger Coalition
Iowa Public Health Association
Jefferson County (Colorado) Health Department
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Johnson County Public Health
Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation
Just God Academy
Justice in Aging
Lanai Community Health Center
Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Teachers College Columbia University
Liver Health Initiative
Louisiana Public Health Association
Louisiana Public Health Institute
Lung Cancer Alliance
Maine Public Health Association
March of Dimes
MaryCatherine Jones Consulting, LLC
Maryland Partnership for Prevention, Inc.
Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network
Mental Health America of Kentucky
Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equity (M-SLICE)
Minority Outreach Coalition
MomsRising
Monona County Public Health
Mount Moriah Baptist Church – Omaha
MPHI
NAACP
NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Association for Health and Fitness
National Association of Community Health Centers
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of School Nurses
National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)
National Black Justice Coalition
National Black Nurses Association
National Center for Healthy Housing
National Coalition of STD Directors
National Collaborative for Health Equity
National Consumers League
National Council of Jewish Women
National Environmental Health Association
National Health Foundation
National Health Law Program
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ)
National League for Nursing
National Medical Association
National Nurse-Led Care Consortium
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Physicians Alliance
National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives
National REACH Coalition
National Recreation and Park Association
National WIC Association
National Women’s Health Network
National Women’s Law Center
National Working Positive Coalition
Native American Connections
Nebraska Action Coalition – Future of Nursing
Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of United Church of Christ
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New Jersey Association of County & City Health Officials
New Jersey Public Health Association
New Jersey Society for Public Health Education (NJ SOPHE)
New Mexico Department of Health, State of New Mexico
New Progressive Alliance
New York City Health + Hospitals
NM Pediatric Society
North Bergen Health Department
North Carolina Community Health Center Association
North Montgomery Communities for Prosperity (M-CUP)
Nurse-Family Partnership
Obesity Action Coalition
Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage Coalition
Ohio Public Health Association
OpenBiome, Inc.
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
PFLAG National
Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Physicians for Social Responsibility, AZ Chapter
Physicians for Social Responsibility, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Prevention Institute
Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC)
Public Citizen
Public Health Consultancy
Public Health Foundation
Public Health Institute
Public Justice Center
Rachel Carson Council
Religious Institute
Respiratory Health Association
RiverStone Health
Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition
Safe States Alliance
School Social Work Association of America
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
Shoals Community Clinic
Society for Prevention Research
Society for Public Health Education
Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education
Somos Familia Valle
South Central Family Health Center
St. Mary’s Center
Street Level Health Project
Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at George Washington
University
Suncoast Health Council, Inc.
Team HBV Collegiate Chapters
Tennessee Health Care Campaign
Tennessee Justice Center
Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility
The Arizona Partnership for Immunization
The Center for Health Innovation
The Consortium
The Immunization Partnership
The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease
The Praxis Project
The Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Pride Center at Equality Park
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Three Peas in a Pod
Thrive At Life: Working Solutions
TimeBanks USA
Training Resources Network, Inc.
Treatment Action Group (TAG)
Tri-County Health Department
Trust for America’s Health
United States Breastfeeding Committee
Vaccinate Your Family
Valley AIDS Council
Washington County Public Health
Washington State Department of Health
Wayne State University Center for Health and Community Impact
Weight Watchers of Las Vegas
Wellco
West Valley Neighborhoods Coalition
WISE Health
Within Our Reach
Worry Free Community
Zero to Three