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US immunization programs would be gutted under Republican health bill, experts say

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1252 (Published 09 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1252
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

The Republican leadership’s proposed American Health Care Act, announced Monday 6 March,1 threatens to cripple the immunization program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by stripping away most of its funding.

It will also remove hundreds of millions in funding from states’ vaccination efforts, heart disease screening, and programs to reduce hospital infections and antimicrobial resistance. And it will leave no money for the CDC’s blood lead surveillance and exposure reduction program in 29 states.

The act would end the federal Prevention and Public Health Fund from October next year, with no suggestion of a replacement. This fund, established by the Affordable Care Act and providing roughly $1bn a year, has become a key part of CDC funding, especially in the agency’s immunization programs.

Rumors last week that the fund was endangered prompted more than …

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