Public health funding declining, despite health reform efforts focused on prevention

Per capita spending in public health has dropped 9.3% since 2008, including a $40.2 billion decrease in disease-prevention and related programs through 2014, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. This drop occurred despite provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to boost spending toward prevention. The ACA mandated insurance coverage of clinical preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force with A or B grades and also created a mandatory $15 billion investment fund for community public health services called the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Analyzing historical and projected National Health Expenditure Accounts data, the authors found that inflation-adjusted per capita spending in public health grew steadily from $39 in 1960, peaked in 2008 at $281, and then fell to $255 in 2014. Public health’s share of total health expenditure increased from 1.36% in 1960 to high of 3.18% in 2002, to 2.65% in 2012. This accounts for a decline of 17%.

A 2012 law cut the Prevention and Public Health Fund funding by $6.25 billion. Sequestration reduced the total amount even further, and the 2015 appropriations allowed for less than half of $2 billion originally budgeted for public health. State and local departments, which are primary sources of public health services, have also faced financial constraints.

Public health funding declining, despite health reform efforts focused on preventionhttp://www.acpm.org/news/264539/http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.acpm.org/resource/rss/news.rss

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