ASM Urges Increased Funding for CDC in FY2018

Dec. 5, 2017

Dear Chairmen Frelinghuysen and Cole and Ranking Members Lowey and DeLauro:

The undersigned 153 members of the CDC Coalition and other supporting state and national organizations urge you to provide at least $7.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s programs as you work to develop a final FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill or other final FY 2018 funding legislation. We urge you to restore any cuts to important CDC programs and maintain at least the highest level of funding for CDC programs that were included in the bills passed by House and Senate Appropriations Committees earlier this year and to reject the inclusion of any controversial policy riders that would threaten public health. We believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC. CDC programs are essential to protect the health of the American people. Furthermore, we are deeply concerned about ongoing efforts to repeal, cut or divert funding from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, authorized by the Affordable Care Act, and the impact the loss of this funding would have on CDC’s annual budget. The Prevention and Public Health Fund currently accounts for 12 percent of CDC’s budget and Congress must ensure that CDC’s budget remains whole in the face of any effort to repeal or weaken the ACA and the prevention fund.

The CDC Coalition is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations committed to strengthening our nation’s public health infrastructure and prevention programs. Our mission is to ensure that health promotion and disease prevention are given top priority in federal funding, to support a funding level for CDC that enables it to carry out its prevention mission and to assure an adequate translation of new research into effective state and local programs. Coalition member groups represent millions of public health workers, researchers, clinicians, educators and citizens served by CDC programs.

CDC serves as the command center for the nation’s public health defense system against emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. From aiding in the surveillance, detection and prevention of the Zika virus to playing a lead role in the control of Ebola in West Africa and detecting and responding to cases in the U.S., to monitoring and investigating disease outbreaks to pandemic flu preparedness, CDC is the nation’s – and the world’s – expert resource and response center, coordinating communications and action and serving as the laboratory reference center. States, communities and the international community rely on CDC for accurate information and direction in a crisis or outbreak.

CDC is faced with unprecedented challenges and responsibilities ranging from emergency preparedness, chronic disease prevention, to combating the tobacco and obesity epidemics. CDC funds programs for injury control and violence prevention; global health security; health promotion in schools and workplaces; the prevention of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and other chronic diseases; nutrition and physical activity; immunization; environmental health, including the prevention of childhood lead poisoning; oral health; reducing health disparities; preventing infant mortality and birth defects; preventing antimicrobial resistance; preventing prescription drug overdose and public health research and health statistics. It is notable that more than 70 percent of CDC’s budget supports public health and prevention activities by state and local health organizations and agencies, national public health partners and academic institutions.

In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health. Despite the progress CDC has made to meet these needs, the agency’s programs have been woefully underfunded to confront the myriad public health issues facing the nation. We urge you to support a funding level of at least $7.8 billion for CDC programs in FY 2018.

Letter sent to the House of Representatives
Letter sent to the US Senate