Shot in the Arm: Has the U.S. Invested Enough Stimulus Money in Prevention?

February 17, 2010
by Katherine Harmon
Scientific American

As lawmakers divvied up billions of dollars last year to address the nation's fiscal crisis via the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), they did not skimp on funding health. About one of every six and a half ARRA dollars went to programs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-the single largest allocation for any federal agency. Less than 1 percent of those monies, however, are going toward keeping people from getting sick in the first place.

The HHS's $122-billion allotment has been spread among the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as well as other groups that fund everything from cancer research to Head Start programs for children.

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