For Immediate Release: July 17, 2012
Trust for Americaís Health Statement on the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Bill, FY2013: Dangerous for the Nationís Long-term Health and Wellbeing
Washington, DC, July 17, 2012 - Trust for America's Health (TFAH) finds the proposed cuts in the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Bill, FY2013, to be dangerous to the nation's long-term health and wellbeing.
The following is a statement from Jeff Levi, Executive Director of TFAH, who also serves as Chair of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.
"After having already voted more than 30 times to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this bill represents another roadblock to moving the nation toward a true health care system that focuses on preventing illness and chronic conditions before they occur.
Prevention is one of the most common sense and effective ways we can improve health and reduce health care costs. Right now, if nothing is done, today's kids could be the first in U.S. history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents. By proposing massive cuts to public health and prevention funding, this bill is putting our kids on a path to poor health - and our country on a path to a less productive and prosperous future.
The appropriations bill proposes to cut $787 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and $409 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This includes the repeal of both the Prevention and Public Health Fund and the Community Health Centers Fund and elimination of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The bill also includes a number of harmful policy riders, most notably riders prohibiting:
- Any use of funds to implement the First Lady's Healthy Food Financing initiative;
- The use of funds for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules to require employers to have comprehensive injury and illness prevention plans; and
- The use of funds for syringe exchange programs which are key to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
At a time when health care costs, obesity rates and preventable chronic conditions are spiraling out of control, this appropriations bill would hamstring the CDC and HHS and hurt the health of Americans."
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org