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States Urge More U.S. Guidance, Aid for Pandemic-Flu Response

February 2, 2007
by By John Lauerman
Bloomberg News

``We should look to the federal government for a lot more support than we're getting,'' said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health, an advocacy organization. ``To be properly prepared there needs to be some uniformity in how well we're prepared.'' The group's surveys have shown that only 15 states have the ability to distribute antiviral drugs in a pandemic, and about half of states would run out of beds within two weeks. The government also has no plan for delivering health care to the uninsured, he said. `` We ought to have an emergency health benefit that gets triggered at the federal level,'' he said. ``We shouldn't have to figure that out during the crisis.''

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