More than 110 organizations call on Senate to oppose cuts to Prevention Fund

September 2023


Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), American Public Health Association (APHA), Assocation of Public Health Labs (APHL), Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and more than 100 other organizations representing public health, healthcare, research, social services, and other sectors, today released a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee opposing a committee proposal to cut $980 million from the Prevention & Public Health Fund (“the Prevention Fund”) to pay for other health legislation.

The Prevention Fund is a critical source of funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Prevention Fund invests in states and communities across the nation to strengthen systems and the workforce that allow us to provide immunizations, detect and control outbreaks, and prevent illness and early deaths from tobacco and chronic diseases. It supports activities outside one’s doctor’s office – separate and distinct from individual health concerns and treatments.

In an already challenging budget environment, this would further endanger the health of Americans. These cuts would impact not only health programs, but also labor and education, as it will leave a significant gap in base appropriations for the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill that will need to be backfilled. This pay-for has far reaching consequences for all of the programs that fall under the spending bill’s purview.

The letter in part reads:

“The nation can no longer afford to underfund public health…. Despite spending more than any other high-income nation on treating disease, the U.S. has substantially worse health outcomes, with life expectancy declining in recent years. Now is the time to invest in public health and prevention…

Cuts to the Prevention Fund will translate into funding shortfalls in programs that states have long relied upon to keep their residents healthy and safe. In its first 14 years (FY2010–23), the Prevention Fund has invested more than $12.3 billion in resources to states, localities, and tribal and community organizations in support of critical prevention and public health programs. These investments include the 317 immunization program that enables prevention of outbreaks, epidemiologists and public health laboratory grants in every state and territory to detect and investigate outbreaks and prevent further infections, the Preventive Health and Health Services (Prevent) Block Grant that enables states and localities to address their most pressing health concerns, supporting cancer screenings, and other critically important programs. Across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Prevention Fund supports programs such as suicide prevention, Alzheimer’s disease prevention, and chronic disease self-management. Funding prevention not only saves lives, but it also saves money. The Prevention Fund’s Tips from Former Smokers Campaign alone saved an estimated $7.3 billion in smoking-related healthcare costs from 2012 to 2018 and helped more than one million Americans quit smoking for good. Public health funding has not kept up with the range of threats that public health must address. For many of these conditions, we know what works, but public health does not have the resources to address these growing health threats.”

Information about the Prevention and Public Health Fund can be found here

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Organizations Joining the Letter

ADAP Advocacy
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association on Health and Disability
American College of Clinical Pharmacy
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Physicians
American College of Preventive Medicine
American College of Sports Medicine
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
American Public Health Association
American Society for Microbiology
American Society on Aging
American Statistical Association
Association for Prevention Teaching and Research
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of Immunization Managers
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of Pathology Chairs
Association of Public Health Laboratories
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Big Cities Health Coalition
CAEAR Coalition
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of Elders (CARIE)
Children’s Environmental Health Network
Christian Council of Delmarva
City-County Health District
Colorado Public Health Association
Community Access National Network
Connecticut Public Health Association
Cook County Department of Public Health
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
Dorchester County Health Department
Early Impact Virginia
Endocrine Society
Eta Sigma Gamma
Foundation for Healthy Generations
Futures Without Violence
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality
GO2 for Lung Cancer
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, Inc
Health Promotion Consultants
Healthy Weight Partnership Inc.
HIV Medicine Association
HLN Consulting, LLC
Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness
Institute for Public Health Innovation
International WELL Building Institute
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
Kentucky Voices for Health
Kids and Car Safety
Lakeshore Foundation
Linn County Public Health
Maine Public Health Association
March of Dimes
Marked By Covid
MaryCatherine Jones Consulting, LLC
Mel Leaman Free Clinic
Mental Health America
Minnesota Public Health Association
National Alliance of Public Health Students and Alums
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Healthy Housing
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
National Network of Public Health Institutes
National Nurse-Led Care Consortium
National Prevention Science Coalition
Nemours Children’s Health
New Jersey Public Health Association
New York State Public Health Association
Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials
Peggy Lillis Foundation
Pennsylvania Public Health Association
Population Association of America
Prevent Blindness
Prevent Blindness Georgia
Prevent Blindness Ohio
Prevent Blindness Wisconsin
Prevent Child Abuse America
Prevention Institute
Public Health Foundation
Public Health Institute
Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness
Resolve to Save Lives
RiverStone Health
Safe States Alliance
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Society for Public Health Education
Society for Women’s Health Research
Sound Generations
Sound Generations – Project Enhance
Spina Bifida Association
Task Force for Global Health
The 317 Coalition
The Foundation for Sustainable Communities
The Gerontological Society of America
Trust for America’s Health
Vaccinate Your Family
Voices for Vaccines
Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials
Washington State Public Health Association
Well-Being and Equity in the World
Wisconsin Public Health Association
YMCA of the USA