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Bill would gut critical public health funding this fall

The Senate Republican health-care bill contains a lot of budget cuts — mostly to the Medicaid program.

But federal public health initiatives would be affected too, and more quickly than they would be under the House bill.

As our colleague Lena Sun explained:

The health-care bill that Senate Republicans released Thursday would eliminate critical funds for core public health programs that make up about 12 percent of the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The money supports programs to prevent bioterrorism and disease outbreaks, as well as to provide immunizations and screenings for cancer and heart disease.The Senate bill would end funding starting in fiscal 2018, which begins in October. That’s more quickly than the House GOP legislation, which would gut funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund starting in October 2018.As a provision of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the Prevention and Public Health Fund provides the CDC almost $1 billion annually. Since the ACA’s passage in 2010, it has been an increasingly important source of money for fundamental CDC programs.About $625 million goes directly to states and communities to address their most pressing health needs, including drug misuse, infectious diseases, lead poisoning, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and tobacco use.

Read more here.

GOP health-care bill: The latest news and reactions

Senate Republicans are set to release a health-care bill that would curtail federal Medicaid funding, repeal taxes on the wealthy and eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood as part of an effort to fulfill a years-long promise to undo Barack Obama’s signature health-care law.

Follow along for the latest updates throughout the day, and check out the current whip count here.

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