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Public Health Woefully Underfunded in Administration's Proposed Budget
Date:2/4/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bush administration's proposed fiscal year 2009 budget puts the health of millions of Americans at risk by failing to adequately invest in disease prevention and health promotion activities, the American Public Health Association (APHA) said today.

"While balancing the budget is a critical goal, the administration's decision to drastically cut funding to crucial health agencies is short-sighted and fails to recognize the importance of investing in prevention," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. "Once again the administration has ignored the reality that cutting public health funding might save money in the short-term, but will lead to greater medical expenditures in the long-term as we must treat the illness we failed to prevent."

The president's budget proposes significant cuts in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chief among the cuts is an elimination of the Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant. Funded at a level of $97.3 million in fiscal year 2008, this critical funding enables states to fund essential public health activities as dictated by the unique needs of their communities. The proposal also includes a $135.5 million decrease in funding for CDC's Public Health Emergency Prepared (PHEP) state and local grant program, which helps ensure that state and local health departments possess the capacity to detect and respond to emerging public health threats.

"Each year that the CDC's funding is cut means another year in which our public health infrastructure is not keeping pace with the diseases and conditions that are responsible for the majority of death and disability in this nation, nor ensuring that our nation has the capacity to respond rapidly to emerging health issues," Benjamin said.

The president's budget also slashes funds to another critical public health agency, the Health R
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SOURCE American Public Health Association
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