GOP health bill would cut nearly $47 million in Arizona public health funds

By Ken Alltucker | March 15, 2017 | The Arizona Republic | 

Arizona could lose $46.8 million in federal public health funding over five years via a cut included in the House Republican health bill, likely forcing local health departments to reduce or cut public health programs…providing childhood immunizations, counteracting emerging public health threats such as the Zika and Ebola viruses…efforts to curb childhood lead poisoning, fight heart disease, manage diabetes, promote skin-cancer awareness and smoking cessation.

Dr. Daniel Derksen, a University of Arizona professor and director of the Arizona Center for Rural Health, said it is critical to fund public health efforts such as preventing the spread of the Zika virus. Lack of funding now could lead to higher health and fiscal costs down the road.

“When somebody has a child with microcephaly, the consequences are lifelong,” Derksen said. “It is very expensive care and has devastating consequences in terms of brain development and physical disabilities.”

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