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

President’s budget underinvests in public health, prevention

Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA

Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2012 – “President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 unveiled today shortchanges key federal programs that protect public health and prevent our nation’s leading causes of premature death and disability.

“APHA recognizes today’s tough economic environment, but in the midst of fundamentally transforming our nation’s health system to emphasize disease prevention and wellness, now is not the time to underinvest in our already underfunded, overburdened public health system.

“With today’s proposed $664 million in cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency will have seen its budget authority slashed by $1.4 billion since fiscal year 2010, a more than 20 percent reduction. In addition, the Prevention and Public Health Fund established under the Affordable Care Act is slated for additional cuts of more than $4 billion over 10 years. The budget would also divert monies from the fund to backfill cuts to the CDC and other public health agencies. This maneuver not only puts the integrity of the CDC’s budget at risk but violates the fundamental spirit of this historic law. It robs Peter to pay Paul.

"Failure to adequately invest across all areas of public health could hamper implementation of the Affordable Care Act and slam the brakes on future progress against the many threats to human health.

“APHA looks forward to working with the administration and Congress to ensure adequate funding for important prevention and health promotion programs that help make and keep America healthy.”

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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.