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Pandemic Tests a Patchwork Health System

October 11, 2009
by Dana Milbank
Washington Post

Other measures of pandemic preparedness are equally lopsided, but in a different order. The District has adequate supplies of antiviral medicines, but half of the states don't have enough to cover more than 25 percent of their population, according to the Trust for America's Health. Colorado is the worst off, having only enough medicine for 14.9 percent of its residents.

This hasn't mattered much, because the pandemic flu strain, mercifully, has proven to be relatively mild so far. So we can consider this a drill; had this been an actual pandemic, or a biological terrorism attack, we'd all be in deep trouble. And even in the absence of such a menace, we're being ill served every day by a public health system across the country that can't keep up with obesity, diabetes and the rest of Americans' ailments.

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