Zoë Schlanger | Quartz | January 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Getting Rid of Obamacare Will Cripple the Department Keeping Bioterrorism and Outbreaks at Bay

A microbiologist works with tubes of bacteria samples in an antimicrobial resistance and characterization lab within the Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. David Goldman/AP

It’s not just about doctor’s visits and medications. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, a pot of money used to prevent bioterrorism attacks and prevent disease outbreaks may go down with it.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund, part of Obamacare, allocates $890 million to the US Centers for Disease Control to create better infrastructure for identifying disease outbreaks before they happen, and addressing them before they spread, a new report from public health advocacy group Trust for America’s Health points out. For example, the Prevention Fund dedicated $210 million to the CDC’s immunization program in 2015.

For an already chronicallyunderfunded agency that has handled 750 outbreaks in the last two years alone, missing nearly a billion dollars will likely take its toll.The Prevention Fund represents about 12 percent of the CDC’s budget, which totaled roughly $7 billion in 2016. The Department of Agriculture’s 2016 budget, for comparison, was about $25 billion.

It’s not just the CDC that will suffer. Another $3 billion is allocated through the Prevention Fund to support state health agencies that deal in community-level disease prevention, bioterrorism prevention, pandemic response, and responding to other health emergencies, according to the Trust for America’s Health report. A quick search on an online database of its grants shows that the Prevention Fund puts money towards everything from discovering new vaccines for infectious diseases, to improving existing vaccines, like those for the common flu.

State-level Prevention Fund programs also include:

And suppressing the spread of many, many other conditions. In a world where 86% of health care costs are spent on chronic diseases, many of which can be avoided when the right measures are taken, funding prevention looks an awfully lot like the fiscally conservative route.

Comments
JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.