WASHINGTON, DC | April 24, 2023
“The budget plan bill includes a long list of proposals that would take quality and affordable healthcare away from millions of people; worsen air quality; cut funds aimed at preventing infectious disease outbreaks; slash and cap federal non-defense discretionary funding and harm our nation’s health; and drastically undermine the ability of public health agencies to do their jobs,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO for the American Lung Association. “Just one of these health-threatening reasons is enough to oppose this budget – but these seven show this bill is a threat to the health and safety of this country. We ask members of Congress to vote ‘no’ on this bill.”
Here are seven reasons why the American Lung Association opposes this bill:
- Slow Health and Safety Rules: It would add major roadblocks to health-protective regulations by requiring Congress to approve all “major” rules issued by federal agencies within a 70-day window. This would significantly slow down or halt public health and safety rules from taking effect, thwarting the federal government’s ability to respond to threats swiftly and effectively. Such efforts under the guise of “regulatory reform” are a threat to our nation’s health. Here is a letter from 38 health and medical groups urging opposition to this provision, called the REINS Act.
- Cut Access to Medicaid: The bill would add a so-called “work requirement” to the Medicaid program. These requirements are not about work, they are about paperwork. This is a clear attack on access to quality and affordable healthcare for millions of patients. Here is a statement from 30 patient advocacy groups urging opposition to this provision, which would threaten healthcare coverage for millions.
- Cut Public Health Funding: Arbitrarily capping non-defense discretionary funding for the next decade will leave the nation’s public health infrastructure and workforce severely underfunded and unable to protect the nation from public health emergencies. It will also cut funding for biomedical research, which threatens progress towards new treatments and cures for lung disease. The Coalition for Health Funding, an organization of more than 80 members, released a statement outlining how these cuts would threaten our nation’s health.
- Leave the Nation Vulnerable: Taking away public health funds that have been set aside for activities such as research, vaccine distribution and refilling the Strategic National Stockpile will leave the nation vulnerable during infectious disease outbreaks.
- Increase Energy Costs for Hardworking Americans: Repealing or weakening clean energy tax credits will increase home and vehicle costs for Americans looking to purchase healthier or zero-emission appliance or vehicle options. Here is a letter the Lung Association sent to congressional leadership in support of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included the clean energy tax credits.
- Obstruct Public Participation: Blocking or undermining the right of the public to engage in environmental permitting processes will have a negative impact on communities nationwide. Here is a letter signed by 16 health and medical organizations strongly opposing H.R. 1, which included permitting reform provisions.
- Put Clean Air Progress at Risk: More than 1 in 3 Americans are living in counties with unhealthy air pollution. Allowing more polluting energy sources will mean people will face greater health challenges due to poor air quality. The letter signed by 16 health and medical organizations strongly opposing H.R. 1 also included language opposing efforts to weaken the Clean Air Act.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Inbox
Join over 700,000 people who receive the latest news about lung health, including research, lung disease, air quality, quitting tobacco, inspiring stories and more!
You will now receive email updates from the American Lung Association.