The House GOP effort to roll back Obamacare also comes with lesser-known effects — like whacking $9 billion over multiple years from prevention efforts to battle food-borne illness and viruses like Zika, consumer groups say.
Republican committee leaders have called the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act a “slush fund” that spends about $1 billion a year.
But the practical effect is to cut the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention budget by 12 percent, according to a coalition of groups including the Consumer Federation of America.
“It simply makes no sense to cut back on prevention as potentially more consumers go without health insurance,” Thomas Gremillion, CFA’s director of food policy, said this week. “It’s a prescription with tragic consequences.”
Each year about one in 6 Americans, or 48 million, get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of food-borne diseases, he said. The CDC plays a key role in the public health system’s ability to detect and respond to such threats, he said.