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February 5, 2016 / drjamesfreije

Public Health Funding in the United States Is Steadily Declining

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James Freije

Dr. James Freije is a board-certified otolaryngologist practicing with Mount Nittany Physician Group in State College, Pennsylvania. Possessing more than three decades of medical experience, Dr. James Freije holds an MD from SUNY Upstate Medical University and an MPH from SUNY Albany.

Public health funding in the United States covers such things as cancer screening, contraceptives, and disease prevention. Yet according to recent reports, public health funding in the country is falling and is expected to continue its decline for several years. Experts predict that by 2023, public health funding in the United States will drop to just 2.40 percent of the country’s total health expenditures, from 2.65 percent in 2014 and 3.18 percent in 2002. Original drafts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act stated there would be a $15 billion boost in public health funding, but that amount was cut by $6.25 billion in 2012, and the cuts continued in subsequent legislation.

The results of these cuts could include increased rates of preventable illnesses and diseases that are both expensive and serious. Public health departments work to provide early treatment to patients with communicable diseases like Ebola and help halt the spread of such illnesses as HIV. Due to the decreased funding, many of the public health programs doing such work may close as time goes.

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