May 8, 2012
Contact: Cristina Flores
Cutting the Prevention Fund Now Could Cost Taxpayers Later
In the wake of today’s Senate cloture vote on S.2343, we urge both Houses of Congress to address this and other budgetary matters without imposing cuts to prevention programs which will cost taxpayers more in the future.
Seventy-five percent of current health care spending goes to treating preventable chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Investing in prevention is vital to curbing these costs. One George Washington University study found that tobaccocessation efforts can save $3.12 for every dollar spent, and new researchfunded by the Centers on Disease Control found that by holding down the rate of obesity, the U.S. could save $550 billion dollars in health care costs over the next 20 years.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund is helping people and communities in every state take on the responsibility of these chronic conditions early—before patients need costly and avoidable hospital and emergency room care. Programs which receive Fund support included:
- Immunization programs to stop the spread of diseases afflicting children and adults ($190 million in FY 2012),
- The Diabetes Prevention Program and statewide anti-obesity strategies that help Americans at risk of diabetes and other health conditions take control of their health ($20 million in FY 2012),
- Programs to prevent smoking and other tobacco use ($93 million in FY 2012), and
- Community Transformation Grants that support locally-based efforts to improve health and prevent chronic diseases ($226 million in FY 2012).
With health costs growing for government, families and businesses alike, cutting back on proven prevention efforts like these will only yield greater chronic disease costs in the future. Congress should preserve funding for these vital programs that promote better health and lower costs over the long run.
Document: May 8 – Prevention Fund