White HouseThe White House today unveiled its proposal to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2018. The $4.1 trillion budget request seeks a shift in national priorities that would deeply cut funding for health, education, anti-poverty and other programs while boosting military spending 10 percent and cutting taxes for wealthy Americans.

The proposal was met with near-universal alarm from public health advocates. Here’s a round up of reactions from APHA and public health partners.

“This budget would reduce, weaken or eliminate programs vital to protecting America’s health and well-being. Its effects would be catastrophic, especially for our most vulnerable, including children, seniors and low-income Americans. … If enacted, these cuts would weaken health programs, shred our nation’s safety net and eviscerate environmental protections. You can’t make America great again with a plan that would make America sick, poor and polluted again.”
— Georges Benjamin, executive director, American Public Health Association

“The proposed $1.2 billion cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be perilous for the health of the American people. … CDC has already lost more than $580 million in funding since 2010 – and the proposed American Health Care Act would, in FY 2019, repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which supplies 12 percent of CDC’s budget — of which more than $620 million goes yearly to states. Even now, with a relatively stable FY 2017 budget, CDC is operating with nearly 700 vacancies and will function with diminished resources once the Zika emergency supplemental funding runs out. As such, this unprecedented and dramatic cut would have unparalleled and drastic consequences for our nation’s health and would likely lead to staggering increases in our health care service costs. It would also create massive holes in state public health funding, as states and local communities rely on the hundreds of millions they receive from CDC every year.”
— John Auerbach, president and CEO, Trust for America’s Health

“ASTHO acknowledges that the president’s FY18 budget prioritizes some state and territorial public health needs, however, we are extremely concerned about the significant proposed cuts to HHS and its operating divisions including CDC, HRSA, SAMHSA, FDA and other federal agencies. We should be advancing our investments in prevention and public health, but this budget signals a retreat from key health programs including public health security, emergency preparedness, and chronic disease prevention.”
— Michael Fraser, executive director, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

“The president’s budget cuts if enacted would negatively impact the health and safety of communities across the country. This is a document that in theory embodies the values and priorities of the nation. Unfortunately, the emphasis is not on preventing disease and ensuring long and healthy lives of Americans, particularly those most vulnerable.”
— Laura Hanen, interim executive director and chief of government affairs, National Association of County and City Health Officials

“This budget request would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. At best, it represents a fundamental ignorance about the comprehensive role of government in protecting and promoting America’s health. At worst, it represents a wanton disregard for America’s health security.”
— Emily Holubowich, executive director, Coalition for Health Funding

“Cutting the CDC chronic disease budget by nearly 20 percent threatens to substantially weaken vital tobacco prevention and cessation programs as well as important efforts to address nutrition, physical activity and obesity — all significant cancer risk factors. The results of these cuts combined with the more than $600 billion reduction for Medicaid funding, could leave millions of Americans without access to meaningful health care and prevention services.”
— Chris Hansen, president, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

“NFPRHA is deeply troubled by President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request released today, which calls for cutting Medicaid more than $627 billion over 10 years. If enacted, President Trump’s approach would be devastating to poor and low-income people who need Medicaid coverage to access the health care they need. The president’s budget also calls for flat funding the Title X family planning program, which has not received any additional service delivery funding for seven straight years. Additionally, the budget would seek to prohibit any funding in the Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bills for certain entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood.”
— Clare Coleman, president and CEO, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association

“After years of systematic federal budget cuts to children’s programs, this budget further erodes key investments in an array of programs that we know work for children — such as anti-poverty programs, pediatric research initiatives, key nutrition programs, pediatric environmental health initiatives, health care for the neediest children and assistance for children with severe disabilities — and recommends the full elimination of programs that have had resounding bipartisan support for decades and made a real difference in children’s lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics rejects any proposal that would roll back progress for children and leave vulnerable families worse off, and that’s exactly what the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget would do.
— Fernando Stein, president, American Academy of Pediatrics

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is deeply troubled by the potential negative impact of the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget request. Slashing funds for the critical federal agencies that oversee the health care industry — 17 percent of the U.S. economy — destabilizes the foundation of services on which patients depend. … The system is only as strong as the agencies and programs that undergird it. The AAFP encourages Congress to reject these budget recommendations and act to ensure the stability of programs that are foundational to an effective, efficient health care system.”
— John Meigs Jr., president, American Academy of Family Physicians