Click APHA's action alert to write to Congress in support of stronger public health funding. Photo by APHA

Click APHA’s action alert to write to Congress in support of stronger public health funding. Photo by APHA

This week, the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee announced its fiscal year 2016 funding bill. It did not look good for public health.

Among its numerous provisions, the bill cuts funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration and eliminates the agency’s Title X Family Planning Program, which provides family planning services and other preventative health care for low-income, under-insured and uninsured Americans. Additionally, the bill would terminate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, defund programs under the Affordable Care Act and block the use of any new discretionary funding to the ACA.

“The ACA and Title X have been instrumental in providing health care services to millions of Americans in need. By slashing funds to these programs, Congress is putting the nation’s health at risk,” APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, said in a statement. “Congress should take this opportunity to reassess the impact these funding cuts will have on public health. We must strive toward crafting policy that protects vital public health services, ensures access to care and eliminates health disparities.”

Tell your members of Congress to prioritize funding for public health agencies and programs in the FY 2016 appropriations process.