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Cuts to HHS Could Leave Americans' Health in Critical Condition, TFAH Says; New Poll Shows Americans Believe Disease Prevention is Key to Reducing Healthcare Costs
Date:2/4/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health warns that the proposed 7 percent cut to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the president's fiscal year 2009 budget could harm the health of Americans. Under the proposal, the budget for CDC would fall to a six year low for discretionary funding.

"At a time when healthcare costs are skyrocketing, we should be investing more to keep Americans healthy instead of cutting funds for disease prevention," said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. "Prevention should be the centerpiece of our national healthcare strategy, not an afterthought."

The proposed CDC budget includes:

-- Cutting $97.2 million from the Prevention Health and Health Services Block Grant, zeroing out funds that states rely on to support disease prevention programs.

-- Cutting $136.7 million from funds for state and local bioterrorism and emergency public health preparedness and $61.9 million from hospital emergency preparedness programs. The Administration has cut these programs over the past five years, reducing the funding level by one-third. A recent report by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) found cuts have adversely impacted local preparedness.

In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) would face a series of severe cuts, which include:

-- Cutting rural health programs by $111.6 million (a 62 percent cut), and poison control programs by 16.5 million (a 86.9 percent cut), with additional cuts slated for environmental health, zoonotic disease, and disease detection and control programs.

-- Cutting $240.2 million from training health professionals (a 66 percent cut), including $59.4 million for nursing workforce development (a nearly 50 percent cut), at a time when there is a major public health workforce shortage.

The budget would flat-fund biomedical research
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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