KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Report Finds Public Health Funding Is Lagging As States Cut Back, Federal Programs Remain Flat

The Omaha World-Herald: "In a year when flagging state and local economies forced major cuts in public health spending, federal grants for disease prevention and emergency preparedness failed to fill the breach, according to a new report from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America's Health, which advocate for increased health spending. In 2009, federal grants to [states] for public health remained flat for the fifth consecutive year at about $13.5 billion not counting $1 billion in federal stimulus money, while state and local governments reduced their investment by $392 million, a 3.4 percent cut."

The report concluded that "federal funding fails to reach the states that need it most." In 2009, for example, "Midwestern states saw the lowest total funding, Southern states were next, and Northeastern states - among the healthiest populations in the country - received the largest per capita share of money. ... The disparities in federal funding results from the federal government's failure to coordinate an array of separately administered programs and target them based on need, says Richard Hamburg, Deputy Director of Trust for America's Health" (Vestal, 3/4).

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