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IDSA Statement on the Repeal of the Prevention and Public Health Fund


The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 under consideration in the Senate would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund in FY2018, a source of support for essential public health activities. The membership of the Infectious Diseases Society of America is deeply concerned that eliminating the Fund would leave Americans more vulnerable to infectious diseases that include Zika, Ebola, influenza, and measles, compromising efforts to safeguard both public health and national security.

The Fund, the source of more than 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget, supports activities to build state and local laboratory capacities that facilitate rapid detection and response to outbreaks. The Fund provides resources for critical activities to prevent healthcare associated infections, including those caused by antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. In addition, the Fund supports the Section 317 Immunization Program, which is pivotal to ensuring that all children receive medically recommended immunizations to protect them against serious illnesses including measles, pertussis, and influenza, and to mass immunization efforts in response to outbreaks, including the recent spread of measles in Minneapolis.

Adding to our concern is the proposal in the Trump administrationís FY2018 plan to cut CDCís funding to fight antimicrobial resistance and to shift this funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Every year, at least two million people in the US develop drug-resistant infections and 23,000 die as a result of antimicrobial resistance. This is not the time to decimate funding for efforts to combat this critical public health threat.

Removing the Fundís resources would result in significant budget gaps that would hinder CDC and state and local health department efforts, leaving the US more exposed to the next domestic or global pandemic. IDSA urges the Senate to leave the Prevention and Public Health Fund in place. If the Fund is repealed, IDSA strongly encourages Congress to fully replace it in CDCís budget.

Additionally, IDSA joins with the HIV Medicine Association and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society in expressing concern the Senate bill would significantly reduce health coverage options for our patients with HIV infection, particularly those who rely on the Medicaid program. For more information, please see our joint statement.

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