How the Senate GOP bill would affect public health funding: 4 things to know

The Senate GOP's Better Care Reconciliation Act draft would cut key funding for prevention and public health programs, reports The Washington Post.

Here are four things to know.

1. The Prevention and Public Health Fund was established as part of the ACA. The fund goes toward various initiatives, such as community and clinical disease prevention, vaccines, disease screenings, tobacco prevention, public health training and research, according to HHS.

2. The Washington Post reports the CDC receives roughly $1 billion each year from the fund, and last year, the fund provided the agency's immunization program more that $320 million. Additionally, health departments nationwide receive money from the fund to aid in discovering and dealing with outbreaks, as do employees in labs and epidemiology programs who are tasked to respond to Zika or other disease threats, the report states.

3. Both the BCRA and the House GOP's American Health Care Act would cut funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The former would end funding beginning in the fiscal year that starts this October, while the latter would remove funding beginning a year later, according to the report.

4. Among those who have spoken out against the cuts is Tom Frieden, MD, former CDC director. He has said losing the prevention funding would mean "Americans will be at greater risk from vaccine-preventable disease[s], foodborne infections and deadly infections contracted in hospitals," according to the report.

Read more about the public health funding and reactions to the proposed funding cut here.

 

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