The National Councol on Aging has requested your assistance in advocacy regarding the following matter:
Congress is close to a deal on extending the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, and Medicare physician payment fix.
The problem is how to pay for it. Reports indicate that one proposal involves a $5 billion cut to the Prevention and Public Health Fund. As you know, the Fund is a key source of current and future federal funding for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) and Falls Prevention programs.
Senators need to hear the message not to cut the fund. Please take action TODAY. http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=MO (Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, Missouri)
Here is a link to the alert:
Additional information as of Thursday, February 16:
ACT NOW to protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund!
Call your federal delegation and let them know the importance of the Prevention and Public Health Fund (the Fund). The Fund is in serious jeopardy of being raided as an offset for the payroll tax extension package being negotiated now on Capitol Hill.
The proposal would cut $5 billion from the Fund in order to help pay for the payroll tax extension, a temporary fix for the Medicare sustainable growth rate for doctors, and for extending unemployment insurance. Call your Senators and Representatives and let them know why maintaining funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund benefits your health department and their constituents.
In particular, please call the Members of the House and Senate Leadership and the tax extender conferees, including:
* Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
* Mike Crapo (R-ID)
* John Barrasso (R-WY)
* Ben Cardin (D-MD)
* Max Baucus (D-MT)
* Jack Reed (D-RI)
* Bob Casey (D-PA)
* Harry Reid (D-NV)
* Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Members of the House of Representatives -
* Dave Camp (R-MI)
* Kevin Brady (R-TX)
* Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
* Nan Hayworth (R-NY)
* Tom Price (R-GA)
* Tom Reed (R-NY)
* Fred Upton (R-MI)
* Greg Walden (R-OR)
* Sander Levin (D-MI)
* Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
* Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
* Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
* Henry Waxman (D-CA)
* Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
* John Boehner (R-OH)
*Eric Cantor (R-VA)
- I am calling you to ask that Senator _____ or Representative _____ oppose the proposal to use the Prevention and Public Health Fund as a pay-for for the payroll tax extenders package.
- The continued availability of this funding is vital to support state and community efforts to end chronic illness, save lives and save billions of dollars in long-term healthcare spending. Prevention is the key to lowering healthcare costs and creating a long-term path to a healthier and economically sound America, and the Fund is an investment in a healthier future for the next generation.
- A new study finds that reducing obesity rates by five percent would save nearly $30 billion in five years. The Prevention Fund is an essential part in bringing states and communities together on innovative projects that will help us reverse the obesity epidemic and bring health costs down.
- A healthy nation is critical to a healthy national budget. However, for too long, our healthcare system focused solely on the costly treatment of conditions as they occur-such as trauma, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease-rather than making strategic investments to prevent such conditions.
- The public health system in the United States is underfunded and often stretched thin. Additionally, state budget cuts have further eroded public health system capacity. In the last two years alone, these budget cuts have led to the loss of almost 50,000 jobs at state and local health agencies.
- State-specific stories: Please discuss how a cuts to or the elimination of the Fund would affect specific programs in your state.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund was created to support a wide variety of new or enhanced activities that would promote good health and wellness among the American people. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, $15 billion was set aside for the Fund over a ten year period, with an initial annual amount of $500 million in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2010 that would grow over time to an annual amount of $2 billion. In FFY 2011, the Fund provided $750 million to support various Public Health Service Act programs, and in FFY 2012, that figure grew to $1 billion.
Should the Fund be rescinded or repealed, the future of public health programs would be in jeopardy. With already shrinking state and federal budgets, elimination of the Fund would further complicate and endanger funding for critical public health initiatives.
Contacting a Congressional Office
1. The U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 can connect you with your Senator/Representative. It is best to call the Washington Office, not the local district or state office. To look up your Senators/Representatives, go online to www.senate.gov and www.house.gov and search by State, or use your ASTHO Congressional Directory.
2. Ask to speak with the staff person who handles tax or health care issues for the office.
3. When you reach the staffer, very briefly identify your professional affiliation and work related to public health and the Prevention and Public Health Fund using the talking points provided and state-specific information to bring home the message that this investment benefits their constituents.