Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Opportunity Cost

I have been asked to find out how much the U.S. has spent on pandemic flu preparedness, presumably at the expense of other public health priorities. The answer is -- less than nothing. The information I am about to provide comes to me by way of a FOIAA request I made to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health last December. (Sorry, I've been meaning to get around to posting on this.)

There isn't much in the way of a pandemic flu program per se; rather, states are expected to make preparations using two main sources of federal money, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration's National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program (HRSA-NBHPP) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism Cooperative Agreement.

The word "bioterrorism" in the names of these programs comes from the days when the Bush administration assumed that bioterrorism was the only infectious disease threat facing the country. In Federal Fiscal Year 2004, when they first noticed the possibility of a naturally caused epidemic, the definition of the kinds of emergencies states were supposed to prepare for using these funds was broadened. Hence the CDC program is now called Cooperative Agreement for Public Health Emergency Preparedness, and the HRSA program's mission statement is "is to prepare hospitals and supporting healthcare systems, in collaboration with other partners, to deliver coordinated and effective care to victims of terrorism and other public health emergencies." [emphasis added.]

So, what happened when pandemic flu was added to the scope of these programs? The funds were cut, rather drastically. The HRSA program peaked in FY 2004, and funding declined slightly in FY 2005. I only have the figures for Massachusetts -- $10,686,180 in FY 2004, $10,256,868 in FY 2005 -- but you can find out about your own state's funding if you like at the HRSA web site. The CDC program really got wacked -- Massachusetts' funding in CDC budget year 8/31/03-8/31/04 was $21,141,965. Since then, it's been less than $18 million. The states use part of this funding to support preparedness by local health departments, and that's how the federal money trickles down to the local level. Obviously, that pass-through funding also peaked in 2004 and has been much less since then.

So, those of you out there who are worried about how the fear mongers have stolen billions for more important public health priorities can relax -- although that's not what I'm doing.

21 comments:

victor peterson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alice Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
louis vuitton papillon said...

hey,this is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post.
louis vuitton zipped purse | Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas | homemade christmas gift ideas

Anonymous said...

I’m still getting “warning: SASL authentication failure: cannot connect to saslauthd server: Permission denied”. Here’s the permissions in /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd:

buy book report | custom book report | custom dissertation

John said...

Should all files in this dir belong to the sasl group? If so, how do I make this happen?

buy book report | admission essay writing service | admission essay writing

John said...

Specifically the last one when added got rid of my Permission Denied errors.

assignment writing service | book reports | buy book report

T├╝pbebek said...

I am happy to find this very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content
ada..

marven said...

I am searching about this topic , landing page design . I love it.

Invertir en petroleo said...

hi, i think that this post is ok, i am very happy because i read a good pots

irs back taxes said...

I admire the way you express yourself through writing. Your post is such a refreshing one to read. This is such an interesting and informative article to share with others. Keep up the good work and more power. Thanks!

loans till payday said...

There's no word to describe such a great masterpiece. You made such an interesting piece to read, giving every subject an enlightenment for us to gain knowledge and information without any arguments to deal with. Thank you very much and more power!

Jerry said...

I will always give a nice thrust look in to you from my bookmark feed. Coffee I don't actually comment and don't like to spend time in typing the comment. But here I have to do this because this deserves a good like.
car title loan | rim financing

marven said...

That's interesting, that's what we miss, like the first. Mutual support, mutual nonsupport. No verbal abuse, which are many applause and handshakes .logo design

Affordable Logo Design said...

Thanks you so much for such a great information. I will definetely recommend your website!

Business Logo Design said...

It is really a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

Template Design said...

Its very nice article and i appreciate you for such nice info.

marven said...

Excellent article. You have made your point and there is not much to argue about. satellite internet .

marven said...

This is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme.wireless internet .

Adim said...

Great post! Keep it up the good work and also keep posting.

Logo Design

Affordable Logo Design Companies said...

This blog Is very informative, I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog. It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future. Good job web master.

impact of technology said...

Have you got some more support material you could post here ?