FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913
Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director, American Public Health Association
Washington D.C., Feb. 9, 2018 —"The budget deal reached by Congress and signed by the president this morning increased nondefense discretionary funding, giving Congress the opportunity to increase funding for critical public health agencies and lay the groundwork for a healthier nation.
"The American Public Health Association is pleased to see that the budget deal included multi-year funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers and National Health Service Corps.
"Congress also raised the nondefense discretionary caps for two years. We urge Congress to ensure that an adequate amount of these additional resources available in FY 2018 are directed to increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Resources and Services Administration. An increased investment in these agencies is critical to maintaining and improving public health and safety.
"APHA is deeply disappointed that the spending deal cuts $1.35 billion from the Prevention and Public Health Fund over the next 10 years. This funding is a critical component of CDC’s budget, supporting programs in childhood lead poisoning prevention, vaccinations and other important public health activities. Congress should repeal these cuts and restore the Prevention Fund to prior funding levels.
"We are hopeful that this budget deal will prevent public health agencies and professionals from the extreme fiscal uncertainty that Congress has fostered since September 2017. Shutdowns and repeated continuing resolutions hamper public health professionals' ability to do their job.
"When the government invests in public health over the long-term, the public health community can concentrate on the work ahead of us and make progress in our goal of creating the healthiest nation in one generation. We look forward to working with Congress as they finalize appropriations for FY 2018 to create new investments in public health.”
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a nearly 150-year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Learn more at www.apha.org.