What would be lost if the Prevention and Public Health Fund goes away?

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If Congress cuts the fund, the nation’s local and state public health departments stand to lose $3 billion in federal funds over the next five years. Without the fund, much of the system that helps keep Americans healthy, safe, and free from harm would essentially be undone.

The fund:

1. Ensures access to vaccines to protect against flu and other diseases.

Vaccines: Perhaps the most damage would be done to the nation’s largest vaccine program, which would shrink by a whopping 53 percent. Immunizations continue to be one of the most cost-effective public health interventions. Over the past 20 years, childhood immunizations have prevented 322 million illnesses, 732,000 deaths, and saved nearly $1.4 trillion in societal costs.

Take action to save vaccine funding.

2. Supports local and state first responders in mitigating the effects of outbreaks like Zika or Ebola.

Disease Tracking: Another key capability that would suffer greatly is our ability to identify and track disease outbreaks, and respond to epidemics. Public health threats, like Zika, and foodborne illnesses, like salmonella, can only be addressed if experts have the resources they need to identify when and where the threats began, where they will travel next, and how to stop them in their tracks. About one third of disease tracking is supported by the fund, and its loss would severely hamper efforts to combat and contain such disease threats.

3. Protects children from lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning: Another part of the public health network that would be diminished is the nation’s ability to prevent and identify lead poisoning in children, a function largely financed by the fund. America witnessed the often-permanent damage that lead can have on the brains and bodies of our kids when it saw the tragedy unfold in Flint, Michigan. Each dollar invested in lead poisoning prevention yields a return on investment of $17–$221, or a net savings of $181–269 billion.

What would states lose if the fund goes away?

Read Trust for America’s Health’s special analysis of what individual states stand to lose in the event of PPHF’s elimination.