Shortchanging America's Health 2006: A State-by-State Look at How Federal Public Health Dollars are Spent: A State-by-State Look at How Federal Public Health Dollars are Spent


Publication Date:

Publisher: Trust for America's Health

Author(s): Trust for America's Health

Research Area: Health

Type: Report


This report from Trust for America's Health (TFAH) identifies serious deficits in the U.S. public health system, particularly the significant differences in disease rates and in the funding of public health programs that exist between cities and between regions throughout the country. The authors intend the report to be a challenge “to policymakers and public health professionals to start spending smarter.”

TFAH examined funding that flows from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the states and the District of Columbia, as well as a wide range of key state-by-state health statistics. The authors report that average national per capita public health spending in 2005 through the CDC was $20.99, ranging from $53.36 in Alaska to $11.38 in Florida.

The report urges the following:

* Making increased and sustained support for essential disease and injury prevention services a higher national priority.
* Systematically studying the connection between spending and health.
* Facilitating targeted and smarter investments where most needed as a result of developing a better understanding of the health of Americans.

TFAH estimates the need for an additional annual investment in public health of about $2.6 billion. Other experts have offered different estimates for needed additional public health investment. TFAH recommends the convening of an Intergovernmental Public Health Coordinating Committee that brings together the Secretary of Health and Human Services and state, tribal and local health department representatives to achieve a consensus on public health investment.

The report includes listings, for each state and the District of Columbia, of health indicators and federal and state spending amounts for various public health needs.