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Published On: Wed, Nov 1st, 2017

The CHAMPION Act would cut funds for CDC, public health programs: IDSA

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) are urging Representatives to vote against the bill, The CHAMPION Act, as it would cut $10.5 billion from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), reducing Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s budget 12 percent and damaging efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance and infectious disease outbreaks.

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In a joint statement from the three organizations, they say that the proposed cut would diminish state and local capacities for detecting and responding to disease outbreaks, weaken efforts to combat growing antimicrobial resistance, undermine responses to known and emerging infections, and leave critical immunization programs with insufficient resources. The budgetary impact will compromise both public health and national security.

Drastically cutting the CDC funding will leave the agency ill-equipped to respond to the opioid epidemic, just recently declared a public health emergency by the President. Dramatic increases in new hepatitis A, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted diseases would be left without sufficient attention.

The bill proposes to divert funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to support the Community Health Center Program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). We strongly support funding for all of these programs. Community health centers play a critical role in public health by supporting local access to preventive and primary care regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. CHIP provides health coverage to nearly 9 million children. The NHSC program provides scholarships and loan repayment to providers who agree to practice in underserved areas, including community health centers. Draining the Public Health and Prevention Fund to support these valuable programs, however, is self-defeating and will ultimately cost more than it saves. Sustaining a strong public health infrastructure to prevent, to monitor and to respond to disease outbreaks serves to protect the health of Americans. These programs work in tandem with the important services delivered by community health centers, NHSC providers, and healthcare access supported by CHIP coverage.

We urge representatives to work together in our shared public health interests by reauthorizing funding for the Community Health Centers Program, the CHIP and the NHSC while sustaining the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Pitting one public health program against the other will not serve the public’s health or the public’s purse.

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  1. Congressional bipartisan coalition sends letter to HHS outlining performance measures for Lyme disease - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] The CHAMPION Act would cut funds for CDC, public health programs: IDSA […]

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