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Prevention Matter

Senate Defeats Effort to Eliminate Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund

Media Statement
Contact: Laura Diamond, 202-375-7818
 

September 14, 2010, Washington, D.C. - On a procedural vote of 46 to 52, the Senate today defeated an effort to eliminate the Prevention and Public Health investment fund; one of the signature initiatives Partnership and other prevention advocates worked to include in the recently passed health reform legislation.

“We are grateful the Senate has affirmed the value of investing in evidence-based programs to help individuals and families live healthier lives. The passage of health reform represented an important compact with the American people to transform our current sick care system into a health care system that places value on keeping people healthy,” said Robert J. Gould, President and CEO of Partnership for Prevention.

The Johanns (R-NE) Amendment was offered to HR 5297, the “Small Business Jobs and Credit Act.”  The amendment proposed to offset the costs of eliminating a tax code reporting requirement by eliminating funding Congress reserved to support community-based programs to reduce chronic disease rates, address health disparities and strengthen the “evidence-base for effective prevention programming.”  Had the amendment passed, over $10 billion in prevention funding would have been cut from vital public health and prevention programs.

In reflecting on what he predicts will be the first of several “future raids on prevention funding” Gould also noted, “The Prevention Fund will be a tempting target for those seeking ways to fund their pet projects.  Fortunately, the Senate has made clear the fund is to be protected now and in the future.  They have affirmed the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin who observed centuries ago that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  With chronic disease responsible for over 75% of US health care expenditures and childhood obesity at dangerous high levels, Congress wisely created the Prevention and Public Health fund to invest monies in State and local programs that will help foster healthier families, schools, and communities.”

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