Urge your legislators to oppose the AHCA, and any efforts to defund prevention and public health
The latest incarnation of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) put forth this week is even more damaging to public health and prevention than the last, and threatens to undo years of progress in extending healthcare coverage, investing in prevention, and improving quality of care.
The proposed changes will put the most vulnerable members of our society at greatest risk. The bill would:
• repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund;
• cause millions to lose health insurance;
• cut more than $800 billion from Medicaid in the next decade;
• allow insurers to charge higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions;
• increase out-of-pocket costs for older adults; and
• allow states to opt out of requiring insurers to cover Essential Health Benefits.
Now is the time to expand -- not revoke -- access; reward quality care and prevention; and enable healthcare to be more responsive to the conditions that shape health, safety, and equity in the first place. At a time when more hospitals and health systems are moving upstream and investing in community prevention, the proposed bill shifts the focus back to preventable “sick” care and creates additional burdens by increasing the ranks of the uninsured.
The bill would also eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, slashing more than one-tenth of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget. States stand to lose over $3 billion in funds they rely on to prevent chronic disease, halt the spread of infections, and invest in community resources that support healthier lives. Investing in prevention and public health saves lives – and holds the promise of a healthier future for all. Quality community-based prevention strategies demonstrate a 5:1 return on investment, and these savings need to be preserved and reinvested over time back into communities in order to bend the cost curve.
Prevention Institute strongly opposes the American Health Care Act and any future proposals that eliminate investments in prevention and public health, or cut healthcare coverage, access, and services. Together, we successfully opposed the last version of the AHCA and together we must oppose this one, too. We urge you to call your Congressional representatives to voice opposition to the AHCA.