WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) commends the President's proposed budget for maintaining funds for prevention and public health during tough economic times.
"In a time of very tight fiscal constraints – including a freeze on overall domestic non-defense/security discretionary spending – the Obama Administration has maintained a commitment to supporting a strong public health system that focuses on prevention," said Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director of Trust for America's Health. "Obviously, we would prefer to see larger increases; however, this budget, combined with large investments about to be released under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will significantly increase the capacity of communities to respond to our pressing prevention needs."
Levi continued, "However, without a long-term commitment of resources, we'll be unable to maintain the short-term gains we were able to achieve with the ARRA funds, and as efforts to balance the budget continue, we could easily fall back into an annual cycle of chronic underfunding of public health prevention and preparedness programs. This is why we call for the establishment of a dedicated funding mechanism for prevention and public health through a Prevention and Public Health Fund and a Community Health Center Fund in the Senate health reform bill, and a Public Health Investment Fund in the House bill. We also regret to see a small decrease in funding for CDC preparedness and response capability (about $9 million) down to $183 million and a $3 million cut for state and local preparedness programs (down to $758 million). As the past year's effort around H1N1 has demonstrated, we need continued and increased investment in public health preparedness or we will be caught off stride again at the next crisis. This is especially hard at a time when state and local budgets are so hard hit."
"Overall, these are modest increases. To really turn the tide on the health challenges facing our nation – to turn to a culture of prevention rather than treatment – we will need the level of investment found in the prevention, wellness, and public health Trust Funds that have been proposed as an essential component of health reform," Levi added.
Some public health highlights in the budget include:
Trust for America's Health is 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.
SOURCE Trust for America's Health
|SOURCE Trust for America's Health|
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