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Oklahomans get less than $20 for preventive health

The CDC says the state received $19.10 per person in federal funds in 2008 to keep diseases at bay.

March 12, 2009
by JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau
Tulsa World

WASHINGTON - A study released Tuesday found that Oklahoma received $19.10 per person in federal funds to help prevent diseases and injuries in 2008 and ranked the state 24th out of 50.

Based on $69 million the state received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that figure placed Oklahoma above average for the southern region, where states received $18.43 per person.

Oklahoma also scored higher than all but two of its neighbors, with Kansas and Missouri each receiving $15.14 per person; Texas, $17.16; and Colorado, $17.92.

Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health, which released the study with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said one reason for the wide range in levels is the lack of funding from the CDC.

Levi said it sometimes comes down to a "luck of the draw" on whether a state will receive funding for a disease prevention program.

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