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Government programs that boost health

October 17, 2013
by Deborah Kotz
Boston Globe

As the federal government fully reopens after a 16-day shutdown, some of us may be wondering why we didn’t feel a stronger impact on our daily lives. This begs the question: do we really need all those government programs from a health standpoint?

As it turns out, 79 of those public health programs -- that receive federal, state, or local funding -- are well worth the tax dollars spent on them because they lead to significant health improvements or prevent life-threatening illnesses or injuries. That’s the finding of a report issued Thursday by the New York Academy of Medicine and the non-profit group Trust for America’s Health.

Two Massachusetts programs that made the cut: a smoking-cessation program and an elementary school obesity prevention initiative. Here, according to the report, are seven worth our taxpayer dollars:

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