American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 •

For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or email us .

APHA warns of long-term, life-threatening consequences of de-funding prevention programs

Statement from Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association

Washington, D.C., April 12, 2013 – “APHA is saddened and deeply disappointed in today’s announcement to divert funding from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund to be used to help people enroll in the new insurance market place. The fund is a historic investment that gives communities across the country an important opportunity to tackle some of the deadliest and most costly public health problems. Denying dedicated, ongoing investments in evidence-based community-level prevention initiatives is shortsighted and neither reins in sky-rocketing chronic disease rates in the U.S. nor bends the health care cost curve. The fund was intended to provide a stable and increased investment in community-based prevention activities, bolster the public health workforce and support public health research and tracking activities. APHA regrets that the administration is backpedaling from that very commitment.


“Public health has been challenged by a tough economy over the past few years, battling budget cuts and workforce shortages resulting in cuts to or even elimination of critical programs that communities rely on to keep them healthy and safe. Long-term and potentially life-threatening consequences of a compromised public health system will far outweigh the short-term savings.


“APHA will continue to work with Congress and the administration not only to protect the fund, but to ensure this investment reaches its mandated level on schedule.”


For additional background on today’s announcement, go here.


For more about APHA, visit


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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