The Public Health Institute Denounces Cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund as Harmful to Nation’s Health and Economy
“The Public Health Institute is profoundly disappointed that the Prevention and Public Health Fund (Prevention Fund) was cut by $5 billion over the next ten years in an agreement signed into law on Saturday by President Obama. At a time when skyrocketing healthcare costs constitute a major threat to the country’s economic sustainability, slashing prevention funding is shortsighted and ineffective policy making.
“Initiatives like the Prevention Fund, which can help keep Americans healthy and productive while lowering healthcare costs, should be considered a vital part of the nation’s economic recovery,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of PHI. “We are disappointed that these cuts were made for short-term political and fiscal gain, without more consideration for the long-term impact on the nation’s health and economy.”
Established under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Prevention Fund was originally funded at $15 billion between FY2010 and FY2019. The Prevention Fund was intended to expand and sustain national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the growth of healthcare costs. For example, through the Community Transformation Grant program, the Prevention Fund currently supports evidence- and community-based interventions across the U.S. to prevent chronic disease, which accounts for 75% of all healthcare spending.
“It’s critical that remaining prevention funds go to communities to directly support their work in promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing disease at the local level,” said Matthew Marsom, Vice President of Public Health Policy and Advocacy at PHI. “If this is done I am confident that we can demonstrate concrete impacts and help to prove that prevention is the smart investment for the nation’s future.”