Bush pandemic plan puts more pressure on states

The Wall Street Journal reports that state and local officials said they support the national strategy to prepare for an avian flu pandemic and have begun making their own plans, but some expressed concern that the funding earmarked for their efforts in the president's plan is insufficient. States will be responsible for 75% of the cost of buying antiviral drugs. The Journal reports that Rex Archer, president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said the cost-sharing plan is a "beautiful strategy to pass the buck." He added, "Plans don't mean much if there aren't the people to do it at the local level." Archer also said the funding for states under the plan contradicts a separate plan by the Bush administration to reduce by $130 million this year federal funding for state and local health department's general preparedness efforts. In the New York Times, Mary Selecky, secretary of health for Washington state, said the Bush administration's funding priorities are "a little out of whack," adding that the plan should do more to improve state health departments and less to purchase drugs to fill national stockpiles. And in the Los Angeles Times, Linda Rosenstock, dean of the University of California-Los Angeles School of Public Health, said the additional costs will burden health systems already strained by existing problems. She said, "We have had evidence for decades of erosion of the public health infrastructure."

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on November 3, 2005 12:02 PM.

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