Public health spending has been stagnant for a decade
Public health spending in most of the country stayed flat or declined in the decade following the Great Recession, "leaving states ill equipped to respond to COVID-19 and other emerging health needs," according to a new study published in Health Affairs.
By the numbers: The study found that public health spending dropped from $80.40 per capita in 2008 to $75.83 in 2018.
- The only category of spending that saw an overall increase was injury prevention, which includes substance abuse.
- The estimated per capita cost of the coronavirus pandemic is $50,000, per the study.
The bottom line: "Without institutional reform, states are susceptible to continued neglect of public health with only short-term emergency infusions of federal funding in the midst of a crisis such as COVID-19," the authors write.
- "Without substantial and sustained investment by states and ongoing robust federal support, the US may well continue its 'default' approach to public health funding: 'neglect, panic, repeat.'"