Organization promoting public health warns about loss of funding for key programs if Obamacare is repealed.
As Republicans and President Donald Trump rush to fulfil a campaign promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one of its provisions that provided funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, may be about to take a severe blow as well.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund, part of the ACA, provides 12 percent of the CDC’s annual budget, says an analysis by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a non-profit, non-partisan organization “dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority,” according to the group’s website.
Additionally, the organization says the states could also be losing as much as $3 billion over the next four years, from grants and programs supported by the Prevention Fund, if the ACA is repealed.
“CDC is the world’s leading public health authority and the front line against major threats to the health and well-being of the American people—such as disease outbreaks, prescription drug misuse and diabetes,” said John Auerbach, President and CEO of TFAH, said in a statement.
“Losing the Prevention Fund would result in diminished support for public health in every state, undermining their ability to fight epidemics and keep people safe. The costs of these vital public health efforts will either be passed along to states or the efforts will be eliminated—resulting in more people becoming sick and higher healthcare costs,” the statement continued.
The analysis also said loss of the funding for the Prevention Fund, some $890 million of the CDC’s annual funding, could not be made up by drawing money from any other Department of Labor, Education and Health or Human Services programs under current laws.
The Prevention Fund provides grants to states for things like infectious disease control, and other core public health programs, that the organization predicts will increase illnesses, injuries and preventable deaths, if left unfunded.
The organization says the repeal of the act without replacing the backing for the Prevention Fund will be felt at local, state and federal levels, as public health organizations attempt to combat rising diseases, such as painkiller and heroin use, obesity and diabetes, and declining life expectancy levels.