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“Holding Our Health Hostage”: PHI statement on House continuing resolution

September 20, 2013

From Mary A. Pittman, President and CEO

“The Public Health Institute is dismayed to see that, once again, the House is putting politics before the wellbeing of our country, by its passage of H.J. Res. 59, the 2014 Continuing Appropriations Resolution. Congress must pass a continuing resolution in order to keep vital services intact and the government running. Using that process as a political forum to strip resources from critical health programs is a move tantamount to holding the health of the American people hostage.

 "The move to defund the Affordable Care Act would leave millions of Americans without the coverage they need to get and stay healthy. It would also eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, our nation's forward-thinking investment in preventing illness and reducing the cost-burden of chronic diseases. Here in California, PHI’s CA4Health program is using resources from the Prevention Fund to help children reduce consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, and to support Community Health Workers to help isolated patients better manage their chronic diseases.

"The proposed extension of the sequester cuts would continue the devastating reduction in funding to a multitude of programs that impact health: funding for research on disease and treatment to save lives, the maintenance of clean air and water, vaccinating children, responding to public health emergencies, and screenings to detect diseases such as cancer and HIV. Cuts to subsidies for rental housing, Head Start early childhood programs, child care, the Women, Infants and Children program, and federal work-study aid for college students will also exacerbate the social, economic and environmental factors that play a major part in the nation’s health crisis.

"PHI calls on Congress to find a more balanced and reasoned approach: one that protects domestic and global programs that are essential to health, provides a common-sense alternative to the sequester and fully funds the Affordable Care Act and the Prevention and Public Health Fund."