WASHINGTON DC – Today, November 2, U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) led 21 of his colleagues in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) calling on them to avoid using the Prevention and Public Health Fund to offset the costs of reauthorizing important bipartisan health initiatives.
The Fund, created as part of the Affordable Care Act, represents the nation’s largest investment in prevention and is used to fund critical public health programs in every state.
In Massachusetts, the Fund directly funds $17 million worth of preventive care, immunizations, and life-saving screenings.
The U.S. House of Representatives has proposed cutting 75 percent of the Prevention and Public Health Fund as part of the CHAMPIONING Healthy Kids Act expected to be voted on in the House this week.
“Using the PPHF as a piggy bank, even for important health programs, will result in major cuts to state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments, as well as other grantees working at the local level,” write the Senators in their letter to Senate leadership. “Issuing cuts to the PPHF to fund community health care programs is a clear example of robbing Peter to pay Paul and will have disastrous effects for the health of children and working families. It will also only further exacerbate the long-term problem of mounting health care spending.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
Massachusetts’ senior Senator Elizabeth Warren also signed the letter.