Climate change was a core issue throughout the Biden-Harris campaign trail, and many advocacy groups are clamoring for the new administration to keep its promises. Recognizing the link between environmental concerns and health care, U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL) introduced a bill that addresses both topics. 

If passed, Underwood’s Climate and Health Protection Act would strengthen the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Climate and Health Program by: 

  • Amending the Public Health Service Act to explicitly authorize CDC’s Climate and Health Program 

  • Preserving the Program’s integrity for years to come by codifying its core functions in law 

  • Authorizing $15 million in annual appropriations and prohibit the transfer of funds or reprogramming 

“Climate change threatens food security, worsens air pollution, and intensifies natural disasters—it’s a public health crisis,” Underwood said. “I'm leading the Climate and Health Protection Act to make sure local public health leaders have access to the data, expertise, and resources they need to protect their communities from the health impacts of climate change.” 

Social determinants of health are conditions related to how people grow, work, age, and live. Climate change has the potential to affect all of them, influencing cancer risk factors and access to quality care. Advocate for all your patients, no matter who they are or how they live, and make a difference in your community through the ONS Center for Advocacy and Health Policy