Durbin, Duckworth Announce More Than $3.5 Million In Federal Funding For Prevention Health Services Across Illinois

Funding would be eliminated by House Republican plan to repeal health care

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the Illinois Department of Public Health $3,622,508 through the Prevention and Public Health Fund.  The Prevention Fund was established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide $16 billion over 10 years to states and localities to invest in effective and innovative prevention efforts – like childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation – to help drive down the primary costs of health care spending.  This program gives grantees the flexibility to use funds to rapidly respond to local emerging health issues, such as lead poisoning prevention and the Zika virus response, and to fill funding gaps in programs that deal with leading causes of death and disability, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.  Unfortunately, the House Republican plan to repeal health care would eliminate the Prevention Fund completely, threatening to end an important public health funding stream for states and localities.  Eliminating the Prevention Fund would also cut the CDC’s annual budget by 12 percent, or $900 million.
“The Prevention Fund is integral to combatting public health challenges—from improving lead poisoning detection, to helping hospitals combat infectious disease outbreaks. Further, it provides Illinois families with comprehensive, preventive health services—from cancer screenings and flu vaccines, to routine physical exams and HIV testing,” said Durbin.  “However, with the House Republican plan to repeal health care, this funding would be completely cut, zeroed out – threatening to decimate core public health funding that flows from the CDC to states and localities in need.  With this reckless repeal bill, congressional Republicans have shown us that they are more concerned with giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy, than they are with improving health outcomes in Illinois.”
“This funding will go a long way to help Illinoisans access preventive health services that can help curb substance abuse, breast cancer and other public health crises—but under the President’s health care ‘plan’ these grants would be eliminated entirely. I’ll continue to work with Senator Durbin to ensure that doesn’t happen, not only because preventive care can save taxpayer dollars, but because it can save lives,” said Duckworth.  
Illinois has received over $100 million through the ACA’s Prevention Fund since Fiscal Year 2011, including $62 million directly to the Illinois Department of Public Health for childhood immunizations, breast cancer screening, and lead poisoning prevention.
For Fiscal Year 2016, the top health topic areas funded by the Prevention Fund were: public health infrastructure; education and community-based programs; nutrition and weight status; injury and violence prevention; sexual violence/ rape prevention; heart disease and stroke; immunization and infectious diseases; emergency medical services; oral health; and diabetes.