Improved vaccination rates would fall victim to Senate health cuts

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Improved vaccination rates would fall victim to Senate health cuts
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A rollback of vaccine funding -- coupled with the Senate bill's proposed demolition of Medicaid expansion -- would make it more difficult for groups including the working poor to get vaccinations or other preventative care. And lower vaccine coverage would not be the only significant blow to public health, says Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. The Senate bill would also zero out the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), which helps finance childhood vaccinations in addition to emergency preparedness and response. That fund pays for about 12 percent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget, Benjamin points out. "If people lose health care coverage, fewer people will be protected by vaccines that prevent cancer, pneumonia, and other painful and deadly conditions," says Tom Frieden, CDC director under Obama. Then, if the CDC budget is slashed and the prevention fund eliminated "there will be further erosion of our country's first line of ...

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