TFAH Releases Analysis of President's Budget

February 2004

Trust for America's Health (TFAH) today released an analysis of the President's proposed budget for FY 2005 that found a $105 million dollar decrease in federal funding for state and local bioterrorism preparedness. A December 2003 report, "Ready or Not? Protecting the Public's Health in the Age of Bioterrorism," by TFAH revealed that two-thirds of states cut their public health budgets from fiscal year 2002 to 2003. The cuts to state and federal funds compound each other, resulting in severe negative consequences to crucial public health programs.

"Preventing -- and combating -- bioterrorism and other health threats is the unique responsibility of the public health system. As Americans, we have long taken special pride that our nation has set the pace for disease prevention and control worldwide," said Shelley A. Hearne, Dr.PH, Executive Director of the TFAH in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform today.

"But today, America's public health system is being stretched to the breaking point. In fact, even as it is given new responsibilities in the War on Terrorism, America's public health system is still struggling to carry out its peace time mission."