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Americans Say Maintain or Increase Funding for Global Health and Development, But Take Care of Problems at Home First in the Recession
Date:5/7/2009

is even stronger when it comes to spending to fight HIV/AIDS in these countries; just 16 percent say the U.S. is spending too much in this area.

And much of the public has an inaccurate view of the size of foreign aid in the federal budget. Nearly half of Americans (45%) incorrectly name foreign aid as one of the two largest areas of spending by the government, more than choose Medicare or Social Security (33% each), which together account for about a third of the federal budget. Foreign aid represents about 1 percent of the federal budget.

Perception matters. Those who believe that the U.S. spends 5 percent of its budget or less on foreign aid -- the more accurate view -- are more likely to say the U.S. is spending "too little" on efforts to improve health for people in developing countries (46%). Far fewer (27%) of those who believe the U.S. spends more than 5 percent of its budget on foreign aid, or who say they don't know how much the U.S. spends on foreign aid, say the country is spending "too little."

The Foundation conducted the survey to examine the American public's knowledge, beliefs and opinions about the role of the U.S. in efforts to improve health for people in developing nations. The survey combined new questions about whether, why and how the U.S. should contribute to international health efforts along with trend questions about the U.S. role in global HIV/AIDS that the Foundation has tracked since 2000.

Methodology

The survey was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation led by Mollyann Brodie, Ph.D., and including Elizabeth Hamel, Jennifer Kates, Alicia Carbaugh and Sasha Buscho. It was conducted January 26 through March 8, 2009 (before the international outbreak of the H1N1 influenza A virus), among a nationally representative random sample of 2,554 adults ages 18 and older. Telephone interviews conducted by la
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SOURCE Kaiser Family Foundation
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