Immunize Nevada, in partnership with Every Child By Two, asks you to join us in urging Congress to protect crucial funding for immunization programs. Loss of this funding would have a devastating effect on the health and well-being of Nevadans. Putting politics aside, if and when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, nearly $600 million in Prevention and Public Health Funds (PPHF) that currently support immunizations across the U.S. will be eliminated, unless the PPHF is replaced with equivalent funds. This includes over $402 million supporting core immunization activities.
Established by the ACA, the PPHF was designed as a resource for disease prevention and health promotion efforts. Today, more than half of immunization programmatic funding comes from the PPHF.
During FY 2016, Nevada’s public health programs received almost 4 million in PPHF grants for preventive health activities such as heart disease, stroke, nutrition, diabetes, cancer control, immunizations, and more.
The Nevada State Immunization Program receives 56% of their budget from this federally allocated funding, which then provides grants for programs at our local health districts and Immunize Nevada to keep our infants, adolescents and adults healthy and protected. Specifically, this Congressional immunization funding supports the following:
- community outreach
- provider and public education
- immunization service delivery
- disease surveillance
- outbreak control
- immunization information systems
- staffing and implementation of the Vaccines For Children (VFC) Program (which provides no or low-cost vaccines to those who qualify under a separate funding stream.)
If ACA is repealed without a replacement of the PPHF, the results could be catastrophic to our state, as Nevada has received over 31 million dollars through PPHF since 2010. Potential consequences could be:
- a minimum 45% cut in program dollars
- substantial public health layoffs
- a massive interruption to efforts to prevent emerging infectious diseases like Ebola and Zika
- a diminished ability to provide an adequate health response to natural and manmade disasters
- the elimination of targeted health programs such as those that seek to eliminate Hepatitis B among infants, combat cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), and support adult vaccine initiatives.
The costs of these vital immunization and public health efforts will either be passed along to state budgets, or even worse, these programs could be completely eliminated; resulting in more people becoming sick and higher health care costs. Unfortunately, Nevada is ranked 51st for per-capita state-level spending on public health and cannot afford to lose this funding. To ensure that legislators reallocate these funds, we ask you to add your name to Every Child By Two’s Vaccine Funding Support Statement and Nevada’s Vaccine Funding Support Statement.
If we want to ensure that the CDC, our State Immunization Program, local health districts, and public health nonprofits, like Immunize Nevada, receive the funding we need to keep our communities safe from deadly but preventable diseases; we urge you to take action now. This is not a debate about the merits of repealing the ACA, but rather a request that Congress not forget vaccines and public health during the current and future fiscal year funding deliberations. Keeping our communities healthy is everyone’s responsibility.
Download more information about the PPHF:
317 Coalition Letter
Special thanks to Every Child by Two for providing the national content for this post.