(Ms. PINGREE of Maine asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)
Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Madam Speaker, later today we are taking up a bill to repeal funding for prevention and public health. Members will have a simple choice; the choice is to pay now or pay later.
Staying healthy and treating disease will always have a price. In my State of Maine, treating preventable chronic diseases held a price tag of $1.4 billion last year alone. But there is a better way. We can invest in preventing these life-threatening expensive illnesses, we can invest in slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS, and we can promote better nutrition to reduce obesity. That is exactly what the Prevention and Public Health fund does in my State and throughout the country. It invests in prevention and good health, and it reduces chronic disease. Spending just $10 per person in preventative programs will save this country $16 billion a year in health care costs.
Madam Speaker, our choice is not just pay now or pay later; it's pay less now or pay a lot more later. And that's a choice we can't afford to make.