Online Program

Protecting public health funding including the ACA's prevention and Public Health Fund

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Nicole Burda, MPH, Government Relations, APHA, Washington, DC
Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, promoting physical and behavioral wellness, and supporting personal responsibility to improve the quality of life for everyone. Although cost-savings can be achieved through public health investments, our nation's public health system is undercapitalized and underfinanced. Society saves $9.9 million in direct health care costs for infants who receive childhood vaccinations, in addition to saving 33,000 lives and preventing 14 million cases of disease. Our nation could save $16 billion within 5 years if it invested $10 per capita, in proven community-based public health programs. That is a return of $5.60 for every $1 invested.

To provide a steady stream of funding for public health, the Prevention and Public Health Fund was created through the Affordable Care Act. The intent of the fund is “to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health, and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public health care costs.” The fund was not meant to supplant existing discretionary spending. However, the fund has been under constant attack in Congress and was cut by $6.25 billion in 2012 to offset a scheduled cut to Medicare physician payments. Congress has the ability to continue chipping away, eliminate, or redirect money from it to pay for non-public health proposals. Beyond the ACA and the fund, public health programs have been subject to deep cuts recently and we cannot afford any further cuts.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the value of the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act. Identify why core funding for public health – at the federal, state and local levels – needs to be sustained, if not, increased.

Keyword(s): Health Reform, Public Health Infrastructure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the manager of Government Relations at APHA and focus lobby Congress and mobilize members to protect public health funding and the Affordable Care Act.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.