SOPHE statement on the Senate Health Care Bill

Repeals Prevention and Public Health Fund almost immediately; Would increase threats to health, safety and security

Today’s Senate plan to reform the U.S. healthcare system is an ill-conceived, short-sighted attempt that turns the clock back on public health prevention and health promotion.

The bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund effective in Fiscal Year 2018 which begins October 1, 2017. As just one example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would lose 12 percent of its budget with less than four months to prepare, a devastating blow to the agency tasked with saving lives and protecting people from today’s escalating health, safety, and security threats.

“The elimination of the Prevention and Public Health fund denies the American public of life-saving interventions, which have been shown cost effective,” says Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES, SOPHE’s Chief Executive Officer.  “This bill is not a sensible approach to keeping people healthy and productive in our workforce, and will, even worse, dangerously impact our young and most vulnerable populations.

Losing this mandatory funding stream for public health and prevention would leave the United States at a loss to implement key prevention efforts such as vaccines, tobacco cessation initiatives, and programs to confront the opioid epidemic that is ravaging the country.

SOPHE opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 and any legislation that repeals the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Contact: Dr. Cicily Hampton, Senior Director, Health Science & Policy | 202.408.9804 | CHampton@SOPHE.org