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Letter Opposing the Common Sense Savings Act

March 14, 2016

Dear Representative:  

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association and the students they serve, I urge you to oppose the Common Sense Savings Act of 2016 (H.R. 4725).

This bill would make $25 billion in cuts over 10 years that would jeopardize health care services for the most vulnerable among us: children and low-income families. The cuts are targeted to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid, which cover more than 43 million children, including half of all low-income children in the United States. Medicaid would be further weakened by other provisions of the bill that restrict states’ ability to levy taxes on health care providers.

The bill would also eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which supports many initiatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—everything from immunizations to keep infectious diseases from spreading to programs that help ensure children do not suffer brain damage from exposure to lead. Low-income communities and communities of color would be hit especially hard. The drive to reduce funding for preventive care is especially troubling in light of the growing threat from the Zika virus and the discovery of lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan, and elsewhere.

In short, this bill would jeopardize critical health care services for those most in need. Moreover, the cost of dealing with outbreaks of disease that could have been prevented or contained is likely to far exceed any short-term financial gains. For the sake of the children who are our nation’s future, we urge you to oppose H.R. 4725. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations