APHA opposes dangerous cuts to fiscal year 2017 programs

Date: Mar 28 2017

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Washington, D.C., March 28, 2017 — The American Public Health Association today announced its strong opposition to a White House plan to cut nearly $18 billion in federal nondefense discretionary spending, including almost $3 billion from programs under the Department of Health and Human Services, for the current fiscal year that would have dangerous impacts on a range of public health programs.

"We strongly oppose these decreases for a variety of reasons," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. "Not only are these bad cuts to vitally important programs, but the cuts would come way too late in the fiscal year after agencies have already committed to work. It’s irresponsible."

The Trump administration proposal would cut $315 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in fiscal year 2017, targeting a number of important programs including CDC’s Climate and Health program, which helps communities prepare for and respond to health threats from climate change; tobacco prevention research activities; and Injury Control Research Centers, among others. It also recommends a $49 million cut from CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response Grants, which help state and local health departments protect Americans from public health threats such as the Zika outbreak, Hurricane Sandy and other public health emergencies.

Additional public health agencies and programs would suffer as well:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency would lose funding for protecting the public from exposure to hazardous waste and undertaking research into the health and environmental impacts of climate change.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality would lose $50 million for research aimed at improving health care delivery in the U.S.
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration would suffer a $170 million cut in total to its Health Professions programs, which ensures the health workforce is well-trained, well-distributed and diverse to improve access to quality care for underserved populations; and its Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Special Projects of Regional and National Significance, which helps improve state systems of care for mothers and children.

"Congress should reject this and instead focus on finishing FY 2017 with strong bipartisan support for public health programs," Benjamin said.


APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. 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.