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Midwestern and Southern States Receive Least Federal Funding for Disease Prevention
Date:3/10/2009

New Report Finds Public Health Programs At Risk During Economic Downturn

WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today released a new report that found Midwestern and Southern states received less funding from the federal government than Northeastern and Western states did in fiscal year (FY) 2008 for disease prevention programs, which can amount to millions of dollars in differences. The Shortchanging America's Health: A State-By-State Look at How Federal Public Health Dollars are Spent also examines how the economic downturn could lead to serious cuts to disease prevention and emergency preparedness programs at the state level.

The report found that states receive $17.60 per person on average from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to spend on public health. Midwestern states received an average of $17.69 per person and Southern states received $18.43 per person, while Northeastern states received $22.49 and Western states received $23.94 per person from the CDC.

"Even in better economic times, the country's investment in keeping the public healthy and safe is a tiny fraction of what we spend on treating people after they've become sick. Our priorities are upside down. And now in tough times, this balance could get worse, but we shouldn't forget that cutting public health programs to try to solve short-term budget problems will result in long-term negative financial and health consequences," said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. "Public health programs help keep disease rates down, which in turn keeps health care costs down. It's going to be hard to get the economy healthy again if our workers and our health care system are both sick."

Alaska received the most funding from CDC of any state at $52.78 per person in FY 2008, while Indiana received the least at $12.74 - a $
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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