Baltimore Sun Letter to the Editor from Consumer Health First President

Gov. Larry Hogan's administration should be relatively pleased by Maryland's 7.5 (out of 10) rating in the 2017 National Health Security Preparedness Index developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ("Report: Maryland better prepared than average for public health emergency," April 22).

However, it's critical to note that Maryland's ability to deal with a health-related emergency would be severely hurt by budget cuts and policy changes proposed by Congress and the Trump administration. These include major cuts to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of particular concern is a proposal included in the Republicans' American Health Care Act that would ax the entire budget for the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which focuses on preventive efforts that reduce health care costs.

These funding cuts, and the AHCA provisions to dramatically scale back Medicaid by turning it into a block grant program, completely contradict the adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." These spending reductions will, quite simply, put the lives of Marylanders at risk.

Every effort must be made to stop such cuts, and it is time for Governor Hogan to speak out against proposals that will only hurt Maryland and the entire nation.

Leni Preston - President, Consumer Health First