WASHINGTON, D.C., July 17, 2023 — The House Appropriations Committee approved legislation for Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies that includes provisions that would weaken public health infrastructure, stunt progress on lifesaving biomedical research, drain resources from tobacco prevention and control efforts and undermine programs to strengthen the health care workforce. The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed by how this bill devalues and undercuts vital health, research and public programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget. The bill makes major cuts to—or worse, proposes the complete elimination of—important programs that support the equitable health and well-being of people nationwide.
“The legislation obliterates essential programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the Office on Smoking and Health. Recent CDC data shows sharp increases in e-cigarette sales and demonstrates Big Tobacco’s willingness to bypass regulation to hook our nation’s youth to its dangerous products. We must continue to invest in tobacco prevention and cessation resources through the CDC to sustain and enhance our nation’s response to the youth e-cigarette epidemic and pernicious disparities in the health consequences associated with tobacco use.
“Robust investments in cardiovascular research have contributed to significant declines in death rates and preparing for the demands of an aging population. While the bill keeps funding for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute level, we are troubled to see dramatic cuts in other areas of HHS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke and other institutes under the NIH umbrella. We must continue to encourage, not hinder, the advancement of new scientific research to better understand heart disease and stroke and new treatments for these deadly and debilitating conditions. We also are disheartened by the many harmful riders included in the legislation.
“The lack of support for research, prevention and public health in this bill is deeply disappointing and would have detrimental effects on not only cardiovascular disease in this country, but the health of everyone nationwide. We urge Congress to prioritize our country’s well-being and the important work being done by these federal agencies and programs in its appropriations legislation for FY24.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For Media Inquiries:
Arielle Beer: 202-785-7902; firstname.lastname@example.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)