WASHINGTON, May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Trust for America's Health (TFAH) warns that cuts to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal public health programs puts America's future health at risk.
"These cuts are truly devastating to the health of Americans," said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. "The American people will now see the consequences of the budget cuts agreed to as part of the Continuing Resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2011. The agency is facing an 11 percent cut from FY 2010 levels. In one stroke of the pen, the cuts could erase a decade of advances we've made in preventing diseases and preparing for health emergencies. These cuts are real, and they have real consequences for the health of Americans. CDC faced disproportionate cuts in this round of budget negotiations. CDC and state and local grantees owe it to the American people to document the impact of the cuts – what programs and services will be cut in which communities – so we can all understand how serious the consequences are. "
"The biggest cuts include $96 million from State and Local Preparedness and Response for health emergencies from FY 2010 levels. This is a 12 percent cut that comes on top of previous cuts of 27 percent since 2005(adjusting for inflation). Ten years after September 11th and the anthrax tragedies and six years after Hurricane Katrina, the budget cuts show how short-term America's memory can be. When the next national health emergency happens, we'll be able to point to the cuts today to explain why we were not prepared," Levi added.
"TFAH does applaud the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for keeping the Prevention Fund largely in-tact. Of the $750 million available through the Affordable Care Act for the Prevention Fund in FY 2011, the Administration has allocated $611 million to CDC. Our best hope to diminish the damage done by the severe federal, state, and local budget crises is by focusing on innovative approaches to disease prevention, which is the promise of the Fund," concluded Levi.
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. www.healthyamericans.org