Congress Proposes Repeal of Prevention and Public Health Fund
By SMART Health Claims
Recent news regarding The Prevention and Public Health Fund further reveals the fragile state of public health funding. While investing in preventative health on a local level remains the most effective way to improve current and future health problems, chronic underfunding continues to put communities at risk.
What would a repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund mean for local health departments?
The Drastic Cuts: A Closer Look
- Adjusted for inflation, public health spending was 10 percent lower in 2013 than 2009.
- Budgets in 17 states decreased for two or more years in a row and budgets in nine states decreased for three or more years in a row. In FY 2013-14, the median state funding for public health was $31.06 per person, ranging from a high of $156.01 in Hawaii to a low of $3.59 in Nevada.
- According to a TFAH analysis, 22 states and Washington D.C. decreased their public health budgets from FY 2012-13 to FY 2013-14.
- Combined federal, state and local public health spending is below pre-recession levels – at $75.4 billion total in 2013 – or $239 per person ($218 adjusted for inflation) compared to $241 per person in 2009.
- From FY 2008 to FY 2014, the median per capita state spending decreased from $33.71 to $31.06, which represents a cut of more than $1.3 billion adjusted for inflation.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
The Prevention Fund should be fully allocated to support evidence-based and innovative approaches to improve the public health system and reduce disease rates- “Invest in America’s Health” Annual Report by Trust for America’s Health
- It limits the availability of public health and prevention programs that save money while improving health and saving lives
- It limits the ability of public health professionals to prepare and respond to health emergencies and widespread epidemics
- It slows down research into new vaccines and treatment methods