Harkin defies Obama, tells supercommittee to leave health law's prevention fund alone


House and Senate committees have until Friday to share their priorities with the supercommittee, which is tasked with shaving $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion off the deficit over the next decade.

The fund has become an easy target for Republican critics of the law, who have taken to calling it a "slush fund" at the disposal of the Health and Human Services secretary.

Harkin and others counter that the fund supports "evidence-based" prevention programs that can save money in the long run.

The American Public Health Association has said the president's proposed cuts "could effectively put the nation's health at risk," while the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network declared itself "troubled" by the proposal.