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  • IDSA Statement on the Graham-Cassidy Bill, and its impact on the Prevention and Public Health Fund


    The Graham-Cassidy bill under consideration in the Senate raises serious concerns about the future of essential public health activities supported by the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which, if the bill is enacted, would be eliminated. The Infectious Diseases Society of America remains deeply concerned, as it has been on previous iterations of proposed health care legislation this year, that eliminating the Fund would leave Americans more vulnerable to infectious diseases that include Zika, Ebola, influenza, and measles, compromising efforts to safeguard both public health and national security. 

    The Fund is the source of more than 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget. It supports activities to build state and local laboratory capacities that facilitate rapid detection and response to outbreaks. The Fund provides resources for critical activities to prevent healthcare associated infections, including those caused by antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. Supporting the Section 317 Immunization Program, the fund is pivotal to ensuring that all individuals receive medically recommended immunizations to protect them against serious illnesses including measles, pertussis, and influenza, and to mass immunization efforts in response to outbreaks, including the recent spread of measles in Minneapolis.

    Following the Senate’s rejection of the Trump administration’s FY2018 plan to cut CDC’s funding to fight antimicrobial resistance, we remind legislators that at least two million people in the US develop drug-resistant infections each year, and an estimated 23,000 die as a result. This is not the time to diminish resources that strengthen our stewardship of our medical arsenal.

    Removing the Fund’s resources would result in significant budget gaps that would hinder CDC and state and local health department efforts, leaving the US more exposed to the next domestic or global pandemic. IDSA urges the Senate to leave the Prevention and Public Health Fund in place. If the Fund is repealed, IDSA strongly encourages Congress to fully replace it in CDC’s budget.

    Finally, IDSA joins with the HIV Medicine Association and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society in expressing concern the Graham-Cassidy bill would significantly reduce health coverage options for patients, especially those with HIV infection, hepatitis C, and infections due to IV drug use (such as opioids), who rely on the Medicaid program.

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