Washington, D.C., February 9, 2009 –
“At a time when more and more Americans are losing their jobs and turning to the nation’s public health system as a way to protect their health, the American Public Health Association (APHA) is thoroughly disappointed with the Senate’s decision
to eliminate prevention and wellness funds from the economic stimulus bill.
“The important health provisions would have helped meet the bill’s need to quickly stimulate the economy by: (1) creating and preserving jobs across the nation; and (2) putting the funds to immediate use through existing mechanisms. The prevention and wellness funds would have also allowed state and local governments to continue offering critical services and provided an opportunity to work toward improving the health of all Americans.
“Eliminating the $5.8 billion for prevention and wellness as recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee hampers the ability of state and local governments to meet the growing urgent needs of their residents.
“It is critical to both the economic health of our nation and to the health of its people, that the final bill sent to the president includes provisions aimed at protecting health. An investment in prevention is required, as it will take a healthy, productive work force to help usher our nation back to financial stability.
“We urge House and Senate conferees to preserve and strengthen the prevention and wellness provisions included in the House bill and help our nation become the strongest we can be.”