Allergy & Asthma Network, the leading national nonprofit patient education and advocacy organization, is troubled that the Trump Administration’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget outline, American First: A Budget Blueprint to Make American Great Again, includes dramatic cuts that severely impact asthma and allergy patients across the country.
The budget proposal released on March 16 cuts funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at $15.1 billion – an 18 percent decrease from 2017 levels, and includes a $26 billion cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – a 31 percent decrease from 2017 levels. These proposed cuts threaten vital programs that help the 24 million Americans with asthma (including 6 million children) and the 50 million Americans with allergies.
Asthma is one of the most serious chronic diseases in the United States – 10 people per day die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health programs in place include environmental measures to reduce exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, asthma awareness and self-management education, healthcare services, and data tracking.
Continued involvement at the federal level to protect the health and well-being of the public is critically important, especially for those living with chronic illnesses – which includes underserved and vulnerable populations.
“Families and communities across the United States continue to experience the health impacts of elevated ozone and polluted air and water that can worsen asthma and environmental allergies,” says Tonya Winders, President and CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network.
The Network encourages the Trump Administration and Congress to work together to enact a budget that provides needed resources to programs under HHS and EPA that support the American public and asthma and allergy patients nationwide.