Tell Congress: We Won't Choose Between Children's Health and Prevention
Last night, the House Appropriations Committee released a proposed continuing resolution that would fund the government through January 19, 2018, including reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program for five years—by cutting $6.35 billion from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
We fully support the Children's Health Insurance Program and call on Congress to act quickly to end the uncertainty that so many families that rely on CHIP face, more than two months after Congress allowed funding to expire.
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. 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 Fund is cut so steeply.
Please take action TODAY.
Members of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee need to hear from you today. Call the Capitol switchboard—(202) 224-3121—now and tell these committees that 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.
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 type II diabetes prevention, smoking cessation activities, lead poisoning prevention, and the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant program.
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 and the Prevention and Public Health Fund both require full funding to reach their potential. That means Congress must find another way to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program—and soon, so that these vital services don’t lapse for 9 million children who count on CHIP, and whose families are already receiving warning notices that their children may lose their healthcare.