Mark Schoeberl, executive vice president of advocacy for the American Heart Association (AHA), issued the following statement yesterday in response to the Trump administration’s FY 2021 budget proposal:

“We strongly oppose the administration’s proposal to create a separate government agency to oversee tobacco products. This unfortunately comes from an administration that has repeatedly placed the needs of the tobacco industry on equal footing with public health. The administration should instead focus on more meaningful efforts to end youth tobacco use and nicotine addiction. That starts with ensuring the FDA exercises the authority it has been granted to protect public health.

“The president’s proposed budget includes other harmful provisions, including funding cuts for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and chronic disease programs. These proposed cuts are irresponsible and undermine the budget agreement struck between the White House and Congress last year, setting the stage for another year of fiscal uncertainty.

“Deep cuts to medical research, prevention, access to health care and essential nutrition programs would do little to address cardiovascular disease and its growing threat in our country. Nearly half of the population has some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). After decades of a steady decline in the U.S., CVD death rates are on the rise, which points to the urgent need for more research, prevention and early detection programs.

“Congress should address the health and economic crisis that CVD poses to our nation that the administration’s budget proposal ignores. We encourage Congress to take a more pragmatic approach to their appropriations work and reject these cuts the administration has proposed.”

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information.