Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
News & Press: Public Heath News

APHA's State of Public Health

Thursday, February 1, 2018  
Share |

Every January our nation stops and takes stock of the state of our union. In terms of our health, it is clear we have a lot of work to do. Amid the distressing news that U.S. life expectancy has fallen for two years in a row, we’ve faced what I fear is just the start of political efforts to dismantle public health progress and deny adequate funding for our work.

During the president’s State of the Union address last night, we heard about misguided plans to reduce access to quality, affordable health care and little about addressing the opioid crisis. We heard no calls to enhance public health and prevention and nothing about new investments to protect us from the health threats we face right here, today — influenza, tobacco, climate change, violence and attacks on environmental regulations that put profits over health, to name a few. This last year has been a nightmare for public health, with slashed health budgets, including cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and no major requests for new funds.

As public health professionals, we all know that an investment in prevention can go a long way, and that by focusing on upstream solutions we can create a healthier and safer country. Right now, public health needs that investment. We are four months into fiscal year 2018, and we still don’t have a final spending bill for our public health agencies. The Prevention and Public Health Fund was slashed by millions of dollars last year. Community health centers and other programs that depend on federal dollars are lingering in financial limbo without guaranteed long-term funding.

Speak for health

We need investments in public health, comprehensive access to care, a stronger Affordable Care Act, an enhanced safety net and health equity now. So in the wake of the president’s State of the Union, we’re asking APHA members to come together and Speak for Health. Call or email your senators and representative and make your voice heard. Tell them we need increased public health funding, and tell them we need it now.

Thank you for your willingness to stand up and speak out in a time when it’s most needed, and for your continued commitment to creating the healthiest nation in one generation.

Speaking for health together,

Dr. Georges Benjamin


Georges C. Benjamin, MD

Community Search
Sign In
Sign In securely
Latest News
Events Calendar