For Immediate Release: December 10, 2015
TFAH Opposes any Attempts to Defer or Transfer any portion of the Prevention and Public Health Fund
Washington, D.C., December 10, 2015 – Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) strongly opposes cutting, deferring or transferring any portion of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The following is a statement from Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH.
“It is important to help Puerto Rico, but eliminating any funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund would be a tremendous setback for public health.
For the past six years, the Prevention Fund has provided nearly $5.25 billion in resources to states, communities, territories (including Puerto Rico), and tribal and community organizations to support community-based prevention, including tobacco use prevention, healthy eating and active living, childhood immunizations and clinical prevention. In total, the Fund has:
- Doubled the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, which provides all 50 states, the District of Columbia, two American Indian tribes, and eight U.S. territories with flexible funding to address their unique public health issues at the state and community level;
- Expanded access to cancer screenings;
- Supported the successful Tips from Former Smokers campaign, which has inspired more than 1.6 million people to try to quit smoking, with more than 100,000 smokers have quit for good; and
- Increased funding for the section 317 childhood immunization program, which has been vital to preventing and responding to measles outbreaks.
Lastly, Puerto Rico has received more than $431 million through the Fund to prevent tobacco use, improve lab capacity, strengthen surveillance systems, and to address their unique public health needs.
Clearly, cutting even a portion of the Prevention Fund would dramatically impede efforts underway to improve health across the nation and in Puerto Rico, as noted by the more than 900 national, state and local organizations, including the Puerto Rico Department of Health, that have pledged their support for the Fund.
We urge Congress to find a realistic source of funding to provide the assistance Puerto Rico needs.”
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