President Trump's proposal to significantly cut funding for domestic spending programs would include critical federal health agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In response, American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued the following statement:
"Over the past year, Americans have been hit by repeated public health crises, from devastating wildfires and deadly storms to an influenza epidemic. President Trump's budget proposal would simply make things worse.
"The urgent need to invest in public health programs at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is clearer than ever. The President's proposed budget would make sweeping cuts to CDC, rendering the nation more vulnerable to influenza and other infectious diseases as well as chronic diseases including asthma and those caused by tobacco use.
"The President's proposal would also slash the National Institutes of Health's budget, significantly hampering our nation’s scientists and doctors from finding cures and better treatments for the millions of Americans living with lung cancer, COPD and asthma.
"The President's budget assumes that Congress will block grant Medicaid, cutting funding for this key public health program, as well as adding barriers and reducing access to the number of people who are eligible for coverage through Medicaid.
"It would also dramatically cut EPA's budget, greatly weakening our nation's ability to clean up air pollution under the Clean Air Act and address climate change.
"Investments in the health of our nation are critical. The American Lung Association calls on Congress to continue the work started with last week's continuing resolution and spending caps agreement, and reject these cuts and policy proposals that will harm the health of all Americans. We need a long-term federal spending plan with a balanced approach that focuses on the health of Americans, and includes much needed resources to health programs and other non-defense discretionary accounts."
About the American Lung Association
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, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.