March 31, 2011
Defunding Key Parts of the Affordable Care Act Will Harm the Health of Children and Families
Statement of Robert Restuccia, Executive Director of Community Catalyst, in response to today’s House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health vote to defund critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act
"The vote today of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health to wipe out mandatory funding for key parts of the Affordable Care Act is another politically motivated step to cripple a law that is already helping more American families get the health care they need.
"The subcommittee's short-sighted vote slashes efforts that would make health care more affordable and create jobs. Specifically, the subcommittee voted to eliminate funding for preventing chronic diseases, setting up new competitive marketplaces for health insurance, constructing school-based health centers, educating families about how to improve their health and training more primary care doctors.
"The subcommittee's vote to eliminate the $15 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund, which Congress established last year to help shift the focus of our health system from treating diseases to preventing illness, was particularly misguided. This focus on prevention is designed to help all of our children grow up healthy. Some of this money is already supporting state and local initiatives to reduce obesity, cut tobacco use, prevent HIV/AIDS and train more workers to help improve the nation's health. This year, special grants are planned to help engage communities in improving their own health. And over the long term, this infusion of prevention funding will also expand jobs and improve the health and productivity of America's workers.
"We strongly urge other members of Congress to oppose these cuts and to move forward with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We believe it is key to our nation's long-term health."
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all. Since 1997, Community Catalyst has been working to build the consumer and community leadership required to transform the American health system. With the belief that this transformation will happen when consumers are fully engaged and have an organized voice, Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone-especially vulnerable members of society. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org.