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“Mr. President, I was deeply disturbed, several weeks ago, to learn of the White House’s plan to strip $332 million (now $454 million) in critical funding from the Prevention and Public Health Fund and to redirect that money to educating the public about the new health insurance marketplaces and other aspects of implementing the Affordable Care Act,” Harkin said.
“Not only is this a case of misplaced priorities, but it is, frankly, an outrageous attack on an investment fund that is saving lives by advancing wellness and prevention initiatives in communities all across America,” he said.
The Prevention Fund has a $1 billion annual budget through 2017. It escalates until 2022 when the program sustains a $2 billion annual budget in perpetuity.
Critics, like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va), call the massive, extra-congressional recurring cash reserve a “slush fund.”
In the two years following the approval of the Affordable Care Act, HHS awarded Florida only $34.8 million in Prevention Funds.
This article originally appeared on Watchdog.org.