WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 16, 2018 — The American Heart Association said today that the lack of federal support for research, prevention and health care access in the Trump Administration’s proposed FY2019 budget, if enacted, could have a serious impact on the nation’s heart health.
The White House plan freezes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), cuts the budget for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), zeros out the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and recommends harsh reductions to Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over the next decade.
“The president’s proposed budget is déjà vu when it comes to funding medical research, prevention and access to health care, and it will do little to help us address the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its impact on our country,” said American Heart Association President John J. Warner, M.D.
Under the Trump proposal, support for federal research continues to be eroded. The NIH is flat-funded and is also required to absorb the costs of three other federal agencies – the Agency for Healthcare Research, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.
“Research funded by the NIH is our country’s best hope to combat the costliest and no. 1 killer of Americans,” stated Warner. “The association strongly urges Congress to unequivocally reject the president’s recommendation and instead boost the NIH’s budget by at least $2 billion in both FY 2018 and FY 2019.”
Prevention efforts, which are critical in reducing heart disease and stroke rates, are once again subjected to sharp reductions in this plan. The administration eliminates the entire budget of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. It also cuts the CDC. The president advises Congress to block grant the CDC’s chronic disease programs, including heart disease and stroke prevention, and abolish funding for Million Heart 2022, a public-private partnership designed to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in a five-year period. Congress rebuffed both these recommendations in 2018 and we call on lawmakers to take the same action this year.
Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is slashed too by 30 percent, a $214 billion decrease over the next ten years. SNAP plays a key role in addressing food insecurity and poor nutrition in this country. In addition, this budget proposal eliminates the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program, which will undermine the ability of schools to adequately fund their physical education activities.
Access to health care for Medicaid patients would become increasingly restricted under the White House spending proposal. Support for the Medicaid program would be cutback by $1.5 trillion over the ten years via a per capita cap on state programs. States would be able to get rid of some benefits and restrict eligibility by using asset testing and requiring patients to prove they are U.S. citizens without retroactive grace periods. States with waivers could charge higher copays for E.R. visits, use work requirements, lock-out periods and eliminate non-emergency medical transport.
“We urge this administration to remember that nearly half (45 percent) of the U.S. population is projected to suffer from pre-existing CVD conditions by 2035,” added Warner. “The availability of affordable, quality health care must a top priority, if we are to avert this serious health and economic crisis on the horizon.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.
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