American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the payroll tax extension legislation, approved today by Congress, which includes a 30 percent cut to the Prevention and Public Health Fund:
“By diverting crucial dollars away from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to support the payroll tax extension, Congress has taken an action that could adversely affect the health of all Americans.
In the next 20 years, 40 percent of the U.S. population will have some form of cardiovascular disease. By 2030, the combined medical costs and lost productivity due to these diseases is projected to triple to $1 trillion, resulting in a devastating impact on the health of Americans and the U.S. economy.
One of the best ways to avert this crisis is to invest money now in programs that propel the use of widely recognized prevention measures, such as not smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising. This fund provides support for programs that can help Americans adopt these healthy habits, and ultimately drive down our nation’s rising healthcare costs.
Investing in prevention will help keep our economy strong and help Americans get healthy. The American Heart Association remains a strong supporter of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and we urge Congress and the administration to protect it from future cuts.”