For Immediate Release
Contact David Fouse, 202-777-2501
Washington, D.C., March 17, 2016 — Following is a statement from Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.
“The House Budget Committee last night passed a budget resolution that follows a dangerously familiar path.
“It again drastically cuts non-defense discretionary programs, squeezing funding from essential efforts that promote and protect the health and safety of Americans. As the threats we face continue to grow, including the spread of the Zika virus, lead exposure in our nation’s children and an opioid overdose epidemic, we need to increase our investments in public health, not abandon them.
“The measure also repeals the Affordable Care Act again. This landmark law has succeeded in ensuring that 20 million Americans have gained affordable, quality health coverage and provides a measure of health and economic security that many Americans have never known.
“And we again see the dismantling of our nation’s health safety net with the proposed block grant of the Medicaid program, including $1 trillion in cuts over 10 years. More than 70 million Americans — our most vulnerable children, seniors and those with disabilities — rely on Medicaid for access to health care services.
“These proposed cuts were wrong-headed in years past and they’re wrong-headed now. And until we eliminate budget sequestration, we’ll continue to fail to adequately support public health and other vital domestic discretionary programs.
“With pressing public health threats growing, we must double down and invest in our nation’s public health system to ensure the health, safety and security of all Americans.”
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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the profession of public health, share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.