For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or mediarelations@apha.org .

Repeal of Health Reform Would Seriously Undermine Efforts to Protect Public Health, Says APHA

Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), Executive Director, American Public Health Association

Washington, D.C., January 19, 2011 – “ The American Public Health Association urges the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose a vote expected today on H.R. 2, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act that passed Congress and was signed into law last year. 

“Health reform has already begun to dramatically transform the nation’s health delivery system in a way it has never been done before. We must renew — not backpedal on — our efforts to ensure all Americans have access to the quality, affordable health care they need through this historic law.

“The law includes a number of meaningful solutions to the complex problems currently plaguing the public health system and the people it serves, including measures to:

  • Provide mandatory funding for community-based prevention and wellness programs and activities that will substantially improve the health of ourselves, our families and our neighbors;
  • Cover an additional 32 million uninsured Americans, which will decrease the number of preventable deaths;
  • Bolster our public health and primary care workforce, which will increase access to health and public health services; and
  • Improve the overall quality of the nation's health system, reducing the number of preventable medical errors.”

“Earlier this month, APHA sent a letter to all members of the House urging them to oppose this measure, which would seriously compromise our efforts to improve health and control costs, and further erode our nation’s public health infrastructure. While we are disappointed in today’s revisiting by some in the House of Representatives, we remain hopeful that the Senate will do the right thing and work to protect the health of all Americans.”

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.