"The Speaker of the House thinks the funding to mitigate birth defects is a slush fund?"
Rep. George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the Committee took to the House floor today to decry the Republicans' "immoral plan" to defund the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a key component of the Affordable Care Act that promotes wellness, prevents disease, and protects against public health emergencies. House Republicans are proposing to eliminate the Prevention Fund to stop the doubling of student loan interest rates. House Democrats have instead proposed to eliminate billions in unwarranted tax subsidies to big oil and gas companies.
Yesterday, House Republicans reversed course - after months of ignoring requests to take action – and finally agreed with Democrats to stop the July 1st doubling of student loan interest rates for more than 7 million college students. However, the House Republican bill would eliminate an important component of the Affordable Care Act that has already helped families, communities and health professionals identify and prevent chronic disease.
The Prevention Fund is slated to fund programs that provide cancer screenings for women, childhood immunization and birth defect screening, such as hearing loss tests for newborns. This prevention fund has also been used to support health care workforce development and public health initiatives to combat diseases like obesity, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.
Watch Rep. Miller take the Republican plan to task below.