Support the Prevention Trust Fund - Join us at a State House Rally, June 6, 10:30 am
During the Senate budget debate last week, the Senate approved an amendment that extended the Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). HCFA strongly supports the PWTF, and we are working closely with the lead advocacy organization, the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA), to make sure the provision is part of the final budget.
The Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund is a first-in-the-nation effort that supports evidence-based community interventions that keep Massachusetts residents healthy, avoid preventable health care costs, and reduce health disparities. PWTF supports community-based partnerships including municipalities, healthcare systems, businesses, regional planning organizations, and schools. These partnerships have had success in reducing rates of the most prevalent and preventable health conditions, increasing healthy behaviors, and supporting the adoption of workplace-based wellness or health management programs. Funding for the program ends this July, if it is not extended by the legislature.
The amendment will increase taxes on flavored cigars, equalizing the tax to other tobacco products. This not only helps to indefinitely fund PWTF community programs, but also works as a prevention strategy, decreasing consumption of flavored cigars, which are often marketed to youth.
The House did not include a similar provision in its budget version. The final budget will be worked out in the next few weeks by a 6-member conference committee, and we do not expect a smooth ride.
We ask that you join MPHA and HCFA at the State House on June 6th at 10:30am to show our support to the entire legislature – and especially the members of the conference committee. Please make every effort to attend and please help us spread the word! Please invite your colleagues, patients, partners, and friends to join us! HCFA will also be testifying in support of the bill that afternoon.