Jun 15, 2017

Public Health. It's Vital to Nevada.

If you are following current news, you are aware the Senate is now considering two crucial pieces of legislation: the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget. Both could have devastating consequences on vaccine programs, limiting access for millions of Americans and thousands of Nevadans. It is critical that we help our Senators understand the impact of their legislation on public and individual health before they finalize the bill language.

We are joining thousands of organizations and individuals to #ProtectOurCare and #ProtectPrevention. Nevada has been identified as a priority state, and we have compiled a number of resources to help with speaking up on this critical issue by using the hashtags #ProtectPrevention and #ProtectVaxFunds.

Having finally rebounded from the devastating impact of the Great Recession, Nevada cannot afford the projected losses to not only public health and our healthcare system, but the broader consequences to the state economy, loss of tax revenue, and reduction in labor markets across multiple sectors. Thank you for your continued support of immunizations, public health, and a healthy Nevada. Your voice matters.

Post on Twitter and Facebook
We encourage you to share messages on social media with friends, family, and Members of Congress.

  • The Prevention Fund is 12% of CDC Budget. Elimination in the AHCA decimates core public health programs #ProtectPrevention #ProtectVaxFunds
  • Ensure the CDC immunization program is fully funded, through direct appropriations & Prevention Fund. #ProtectPrevention #ProtectVaxFunds
  • The Prevention Fund has invested > $6 billion in resources to states & nonprofits to promote good health #ProtectPrevention #ProtectVaxFunds
  • The 17 percent cut ($1.2 billion) in FY 2018 budget is the lowest CDC budget in more than 20 years. #ProtectPrevention #ProtectVaxFunds
  • The Prevention Fund helps prevent deadly infectious disease outbreaks; would be eliminated by AHCA #ProtectPrevention #ProtectVaxFunds
  • Continue 1st dollar coverage in health plans & Medicaid, it’s integral to accessing life-saving vaccines. #ProtectOurCare #NevadansTogether
  • The combined impact of AHCA, FY 18 budget, & eliminating PPHF could reduce vaccination rates and access. #ProtectPrevention #ProtectVaxFunds

Email your Senators
Use the APHA advocacy portal to send an email directly to your representatives.

Tell Congress to adequately fund federal public health programs/FY2018 Budget

Oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Support the Prevention and Public Health Fund!

Call the Senate Switchboard
at (202) 224-3121 to be connected to your Senator's offices. You can also click here to look up your Senators and their contact information. Tell your Senators to vote against the bill, ask them to publicly oppose it, and talk about the importance of continued investments in public health and prevention. Even if you've called before, now is the time to call again.

Write a Letter to the Editor
Share a personal story about how these systems have helped you or someone you know; and/or how you or they would be affected if changes are made. Find your local paper here.

Key messages:

  • I am a constituent and am calling/emailing to urge Senator X to ensure CDC's immunization program continues to be fully funded, both through direct appropriations and through preservation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
  • AHCA would repeal the requirement to provide coverage of preventive services and other essential health benefits, like vaccines, for Medicaid expansion populations, impacting 14 million people nationwide.
  • We are already facing costly outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. In Minnesota over 7,500 people were exposed and 70 cases were confirmed in the past two months. The CDC estimates that it costs approximately $140,000 to contain each individual case of measles ($143.5 million since 2014). And every single measles case requires follow up.
  • It has been reported that the U.S. spends nearly $27 billion annually treating just four vaccine-preventable diseases that afflict adults over 50 years of age: influenza; pertussis; pneumococcal disease; and shingles. The majority of these avoidable costs are borne by federal health insurance programs.
  • Vaccinating, however, is cost saving. For each dollar invested in the childhood immunization program, the U.S. saves over $3 in direct medical costs and $10 ten dollars in societal costs. Government programs play a key role in the success of immunization programs. For example, over the past 20 years the Vaccines for Children program has prevented 322 million illnesses, 732,000 deaths, and nearly $1.4 trillion in societal costs.
  • The ACA does more than increase health care coverage—it also contributes directly to state and local public health departments and community-based health and safety initiatives, like CDC funding, vaccines, and other critical programs to address and prevent infectious disease and other outbreaks. Without these funds, our nation will be less prepared to tackle illnesses and diseases. As a result, there will be more premature deaths, more preventable disease, and higher health care costs.
  • Part of the ACA, the Prevention and Public Health Fund invests in proven strategies to prevent chronic and infectious diseases. Eliminating this funding stream would lead to an increase in preventable disease and death, and would put the security of our nation at risk.
  • The Senate should not only reject the bill to repeal the health law passed by the House of Representatives. The Senate should also oppose any proposals that cut Medicaid, end the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, or increase the number of people without health insurance.
  • The Affordable Care Act is more popular than ever. Polls show voters don’t want it repealed. They want Democrats and Republicans to work together to bring down costs -- for health coverage and prescription drugs -- to protect patients and to make sure even more people have access to affordable coverage.

Heidi Parker, MA

As executive director of Immunize Nevada, Heidi Parker, MA leads and engages a diverse coalition of staff, volunteers, member organizations and funders so they are passionate about vaccines and access to preventive health care across Nevada’s rural, urban and frontier communities. Bringing over two decades of experience in nonprofit program management, fundraising and marketing, she has dedicated her career to being able to affect her community in a positive way, whether working with Head Start families, victims of violence, college students or Nevadans needing immunizations.

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