Ask Your Representatives to Join in Telling President Obama: Don't Cut Our Ounce of Prevention
Now that the election is over, we know that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and that incredible opportunities lie ahead for transforming our health system to focus on prevention. But before we can move ahead, we must defend what we already have.
Imagine a federal program that would help cities create bicycle paths and hiking trails. That would enable corner stores to sell fruits and vegetables in communities where the nearest full-service grocery is miles away. That would support city parks in high-crime areas to stay open after dark so kids could safely play soccer or basketball. We have that program now—and it’s boosting economic development in our communities today and will reduce healthcare costs tomorrow. It's also under threat.
Last year, the Prevention and Public Health Fund—part of the Affordable Care Act—provided $1 billion for such services, along with vaccines for children and expanded check-ups for people at risk of diabetes. In a federal budget of $3.8 trillion, that’s less than .03 percent—about two-and-a-half cents for every $100 spent. But opponents call it a slush fund and have repeatedly tried to eliminate it. As President Obama and Congressional leaders begin budget negotiations on the so-called "fiscal cliff," we need to make sure money dedicated to preventing illness and injury before it occurs doesn't get shoved over the edge.
Members of the California Congressional delegation have started a letter they'll be sending to the President urging him to resist efforts to take money out of this critical fund. Download a copy of the letter, here.
We need other members of Congress from California to join in this effort. Please contact your Representatives and ask that they join this effort and sign the letter. Don't cut our ounce of prevention.