Joint Statement from American Public Health Association, Prevention Institute, Public Health Institute, and Trust for America’s Health
Washington, D.C., Sept. 25, 2017 — Below is a statement from American Public Health Association, Prevention Institute, Public Health Institute, and Trust for America’s Health on Graham-Cassidy, which would cause millions to lose health care coverage, decrease access to clinical preventive services and eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
“Graham-Cassidy would do untold damage to the nation’s health, unraveling the progress we’ve made to expand access to quality, affordable health care, reorient our health care system to value prevention and equity, and invest in a healthier future for all Americans.
Graham-Cassidy upends efforts to improve the nation’s health in the future by threatening to strip people of access to preventive care and zeroing out the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Over the next five years alone, states and communities stand to lose more than $3 billion in funding to prevent chronic disease, stop the spread of infectious diseases, and invest in resources that support health and equity. The Prevention and Public Health Fund also provides 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual budget. Losing this much funding — about $900 million a year — would irreparably damage our public health infrastructure, including our ability to respond to disasters and emerging epidemics. These short-term cuts will lead to more chronic conditions and exact a heavy burden of preventable illness and death — as well as higher healthcare expenditures for worse health outcomes — down the line.
Investing in public health makes the difference between health and illness, safety and injury, and life and death. The deep cuts this bill proposes – to Medicaid, to public health and prevention – would touch every community, especially those communities that are struggling most with longstanding inequities in health and safety. Passing Graham-Cassidy is tantamount to legislative malpractice. The undersigned groups find this approach unacceptable and strongly urge Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to improve the nation’s public health and health care systems.”