Congress votes this week on whether to cut and eventually eliminate the Prevention Fund
Later this week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Championing Healthy Kids Act, which would reauthorize overdue funding for community health centers and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, both of which expired at the end of September. The bad news is that this bill would pay for these programs by cutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund by 75%--and zeroing out all funding for the Prevention Fund from 2020 to 2026.
We fully support efforts to reauthorize these essential health programs, but Congress needs to find an alternative source of funding. We can’t fund one set of critical health priorities at the expense of public health efforts to improve community health and safety. Raiding the Prevention Fund is a short-sighted move that would have a devastating impact on prevention and public health efforts. Today, the Prevention and Public Health Fund supplies more than 12% ($890 million) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget, covering immunization programs, laboratory capacity grants, heart disease and diabetes prevention, smoking cessation activities, lead poisoning prevention, and the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant program. Every state and U.S. territory stands to lose tens of millions of dollars in public health funding over the next ten years if the Championing Healthy Kids Act becomes law.
The richest country on earth does not need to choose between investing in prevention and covering needed healthcare services for children and people of low income. The Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and the Prevention and Public Health Fund all require full funding to reach their potential. That means Congress must find another way to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health centers—and soon, so that these vital services don’t lapse for people who rely on them.
Please take action TODAY
The House is likely to vote on the Championing Healthy Kids Act on Thursday or Friday, which means that your representative needs to hear from you today. Call the Capitol switchboard—(202) 224-3121—now and tell your representative you oppose the use of the Prevention and Public Health Fund as an offset to pay for other vital health programs, and that Congress needs to find another way to cover these costs.
In case this bill advances to the Senate as is, that means your senators need to hear from you as well. Our best chance to safeguard these investments in healthcare and public health is to urge the Senate to come up with an alternative source of funding. You can also use our simple online advocacy tool to send letters to your representative and senators.
Please share this alert with your colleagues and ask them to reach out as well.