The Slow Erosion of Public Health Investments
As the overall quality of care in the United States is getting more expensive, there is a correlation in the reduction of money being invested into public health. Though some states invest more than $100 per person to improve the overall public health, some states spend as little as $3 per person, per year! How many health services could you access right now, at this moment, with just three dollars to spend? Considering that the Federal Government provides states with public health funding, a valid question that must be asked is this: where is all of this money going?
The Federal Government Provides Over $42 Per Person, Per Year
On average, the Federal Government provides each state with over $40 of public health funding per year. Yet, in return, some states only spend $3 per person on public health – we’re looking at you, Nevada! Yet Missouri, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Mississippi all spend less than $15 per person, per year on public health investments. That means there is a minimum of $25 per person, per year, on average that is unaccounted for. Earmarked for public health, the states are spending this money on something else.
And we wonder what is wrong with the healthcare system in the United States?
Some States Are Fully Accountable To Their Investments
So what state is the best state to live in when considering public health investments? That would be Hawaii, which spends over $150 per person, per year. That’s more than $50 more than the next closest state, which is Idaho. Even the District of Columbia spends more money per capita on public health investments that almost every state! West Virginia and Alaska also spend a majority of the Federal money they receive, as well as their own investments, into the public good.
Why Are Public Health Investments So Important?
Investments into public health do two very important things: they bring proactive interventions to people who may not be able to afford them and they allow for the treatment of illness or disease that could spread to others quickly. Public health is important because a society really is defined by how well it treats those who would be classified as “the least of these.” Casting people aside for “the greater good” brings about class warfare and societal in-fighting, stagnating overall progress. That’s why investing into people, no matter how wealthy they may be, will always pay off in the long run… even if it doesn’t seem like it in the short term.
How Can You Encourage Your State To Spend More?
Unless you live in Hawaii, then there’s a good chance that your state could invest more into public health. The first place to begin is to write your state representatives and ask them to support more funding for public health. Encourage your lawmakers to balance their budgets, eliminate deficit spending, and put money toward a sure bet – the people in your state. Demand accountability for the Federal money that is coming in for public health investments as well.
The money is there to begin fixing the public health. We’ve just got to spend it appropriately.