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

APHA warns of tremendous health consequences to dramatic cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund

Washington, D.C., December 13, 2011 – The American Public Health Association urges the U.S. House of Representatives to reject a proposal that would drastically cut the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

“Dramatic cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund is a lose-lose solution. Moving the current health care system even farther downstream by repealing critically needed investments in prevention and public health programs would be absolutely devastating to the nation’s health. It would also place a greater financial burden on an already strained system,” said Alan Baker, interim executive director of APHA. “This is a senseless and purely raw political move.”

The Prevention and Public Health Fund represents an unprecedented investment of mandatory funding for public health and prevention efforts. The fund supports efforts to prevent, promote early detection, and reduce the severity of chronic diseases, which now account for 7 of 10 deaths in Americans every year. The fund is designated to build capacity of state and local health departments in communities across the country to make sure water is safe to drink and to protect the public from infectious diseases and outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.

“Today’s proposed cuts would effectively pull the rug out from under local communities where we’re already seeing critical public health funding at work,” said Baker. “We call on the House to not let shortsighted political wrangling take precedence over improving Americans’ health.”

This Thursday, APHA will be co-sponsoring an advocacy day on Capitol Hill to urge members of Congress to protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Today’s proposal also threatens to suspend a ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection to significantly reduce toxic air pollutants such as mercury and soot emitted by industrial boilers and incinerators. APHA believes these important air quality standards would provide critically important and long overdue public health protections and must be finalized. Read the letter APHA sent to the House today opposing the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (H.R. 3630).

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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.