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September 7, 2010

Dear Representative:

The 238 undersigned organizations strongly urge you to oppose any efforts to use the Prevention and Public Health Fund from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as an offset for revenue lost in any other legislative proposals, such as those being offered during the Senate’s consideration of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act (H.R. 5297). Such an action would virtually eliminate the Fund, and mark a severe blow to this monumental commitment to prevention and public health under the Act. ACA included historic reforms that have the potential to transform our health system. For too long, we have focused spending on treating people once they are sick rather than preventing illness in the first place. The Prevention and Public Health Fund (Fund) is urgently needed to address the many emerging health threats our country faces and the persistent chronic disease rates that we must begin to control. The Fund is intended to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive, sustainable, and accountable approach to improving our country’s health outcomes through the most effective prevention and public health programs.

ACA clearly states that the money be used “for programs authorized by the Public Health Service Act, for prevention, wellness, and public health activities.” The money would be strategically used to support disease prevention by promoting access to vaccines, building the public health workforce, and investing in community-based prevention. Furthermore, the Act specifically states that community-based prevention funding must only support evidence-based prevention programs which have been shown through scientific research to reduce chronic disease, including behavioral health conditions, and address health disparities. Research has shown that effective community level prevention activities focusing on nutrition, physical activity and smoking cessation can reduce chronic disease rates and have a significant return on investment.

Already in Fiscal Year 2010, we have seen these funds invested for programs to promote tobacco control and implement tobacco cessation services and campaigns, as well as obesity prevention, better nutrition and physical activity. The fund has been invested to support state, local and tribal public health efforts to advance health promotion and disease prevention, and to build state and local capacity to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. The funds are also being used to support the training of current and next generation public health professionals.

The Fund is a unique opportunity to truly bend the cost curve on health care spending. Seventy-five percent of all health care costs in our country are spent on the treatment of chronic diseases, many of which could be prevented. Further, in a public opinion survey conducted just prior to the passage of the Act, Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) found that 71 percent of Americans favored an increased investment in disease prevention and that disease prevention was one of the most popular components of health reform.

We must ensure that we capitalize on the unprecedented opportunity to transform our public health system by investing in prevention and public health. We urge you to oppose using the prevention fund as an offset on any legislative vehicles.

Sincerely,
AARP
ACCESS Women's Health Justice
Advocates for Better Children’s Diets
AIDS Action
AIDS Alabama
All Saints Home Care
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Physician Assistants
American Association for International Aging
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of People With Disabilities
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American College of Clinical Pharmacy
American College of Gastroenterology
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Counseling Association
American Dental Education Association
American Diabetes Association
American Dietetic Association
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
American Medical Student Association
American Nurses Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
American Social Health Association
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
American Thoracic Society
Applied Research Center
Arthritis Foundation
Asian and Pacific Islander American
Health Forum Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association for Prevention Teaching and Research
Association of Public Health Laboratories
Association of Schools of Public Health
Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Atlanta Regional Health Forum
A World Fit for Kids!
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Berkeley Media Studies Group
Boston Public Health Commission
Building Healthier America
C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition
California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
California Center for Public Health Advocacy
California Conference of Local Health Department Nursing Directors
California Food Policy Advocates
California Foundation for the Advancement of Addiction Professionals
California Immigrant Policy Center
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
California Partnership
California School Health Centers Association
Campaign for Community Change
Campaign for Public Health
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
CASA de Maryland
C-Change
Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Center for Health Improvement
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Cerebral Palsy Association of Ohio
Children and Adults with Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Children Now
Children’s Dental Health Project
City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health
Coalition for Health Services Research
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LA
Colon Cancer Alliance
Colorado Progressive Coalition
Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
CommonHealth ACTION
Community Action Partnership
Community Catalyst
Community Health Councils
Community Health Partnership:
Oregon’s Public Health Institute
Comprehensive Health Education Foundation
Connecticut Certification Board
Connecticut Citizen Action Group
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
County Health Executives Association of California
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America
Defeat Diabetes Fund
Digestive Disease National Coalition
Faith Action for Community Equity
Family Voices
Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences
First Five
Friends of AHRQ
Friends of NCHS
Friends of SAMHSA
Georgia AIDS Coalition
Granite State Organizing Project
Grassroots Organizing
Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc.
Having Our Say Coalition
Health Care for America Now
Health Law Advocates of Louisiana, Inc
Health Promotion Advocates
Health Rights Organizing Project
Hepatitis Foundation International
HIV Medicine Association
Home Safety Council
Idaho Community Action Network Indian People’s Action
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Institute for Health and Productivity Studies Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University
Institute for Public Health Innovation
International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC)
International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association
Interstitial Cystitis Association
ISAIAH
JWCH Institute, Inc.
Korean Resource Center
Libreria del Pueblo Inc.
Louisiana Public Health Institute
Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative
Main Street Alliance
Maine People’s Alliance
Make the Road New York
March of Dimes Foundation
Maricopa County Dept of Public Health
Media Policy Center
Mental Health America
Michigan Association for Local Public Health
Montana Organizing Project
National Alliance of State and Territorial
AIDS Directors
National Assembly on School-Based Health Care
National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems
National Association of Chain Drug Stores
National Association of Children’s Hospitals
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
National Association of Community Health Centers
National Association of Counties
National Association of County & City Health Officials
National Association of Local Boards of Health
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
National Association of School Nurses
National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
National Business Coalition on Health
National Coalition for LGBT Health
National Coalition of STD Directors
National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Education Association
National Environmental Health Association
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
National Health Council
National Indian Project Center
Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium
National Network of Public Health Institutes
National Nursing Centers Consortium
National Recreation and Park Association
National Rural Health Association
National WIC Association
Nebraska Appleseed
Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition
Nemours
New Hampshire Public Health Association
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
North Carolina Fair Share
Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium
Northwest Federation of Community Organizations
Novo Nordisk
NYU Langone Medical Center
Ocean State Action
Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans
Oregon Action
Out of Many, One
Papa Ola Lokahi
Partners for a Healthy Nevada
Partnership for Prevention
Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group
Pew Children’s Dental Campaign
Physician Assistant Education Association
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Prevention Institute
Progress Ohio
Progressive Leadership Association of Nevada
Project Inform
Public Health Association of Nebraska
Public Health Foundation
Public Health Institute
Public Health Law and Policy
Public Health-Monroe County (MI)
Public Health - Seattle and King County
Public Health Solutions
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
REACH U.S. SouthEastern African
American Center of Excellence for Elimination of Disparities (REACH U.S. SEA-CEED)
RiverStone Health
Safe States Alliance
Service Employees International Union
Sexuality Information and Education
Council of the U.S. Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Society for Public Health Education
South Carolina Fair Share
Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc.
TakeAction Minnesota
Tenants and Workers United
Thai Health and Information Services, Inc.
The AIDS Institute
The Amos Project
The Community Heart Health Coalition of Ulster County
The Greenlining Institute
The LGBT Cancer Project - Out With Cancer
The MetroHealth System
The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
Toledo Area Jobs with Justice
Trust for America’s Health
UHCAN Ohio
United Action Connecticut
United Ostomy Associations of America
Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services
U.S. PIRG
Virginia Organizing Project
Washington Health Foundation
West South Dakota Native American Organizing Project
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
YMCA of the USA

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