Time for a Public Health Fund

Amid news that there are possibly 300 pregnant women infected with the Zika virus in the US, the New York Times editorial board argues that it is time for a dedicated US fund to respond to health emergencies.

A pool of money, much like the relief fund for natural disasters, could enable federal health authorities to respond more nimbly to contain emerging public health threats—but fiscal conservatives are likely to oppose the fund. Last month, House Republicans passed a bill allotting $622 million of the $1.9 billion requested by President Obama to fight Zika—forcing health officials fighting Zika to rob funds for other diseases like Ebola and malaria instead.

The Quote: “…every time an emergency like this happens, public health officials must go begging bowl in hand to Congress for the funds to deal with it.”
The New York Times (Editorial)

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