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Federal Funds Drop Squeezes Public Health

April 15, 2014
by Andy Miller
Georgia Health News

Public health officials are the responders to infectious disease outbreaks, he added, and oversee safety for all citizens, such as protecting water quality.

“Public health is for everybody; it’s not just for the underserved,” Benjamin said.

In recent years, the individual states’ budget actions – partly a result of the recession – haven’t helped the situation. From fiscal 2008 to 2012, the median per capita state spending on public health decreased from $33.71 to $27.40. This represents a cut of more than $1.15 billion, based on the states’ total combined budgets from those years, according to the Trust for America’s Health.

In Georgia, the creation of the Department of Public Health helped stanch that bleeding, along with the agency’s strong leadership.

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