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Public health service


Since 1798, the Public Health Service (PHS) has been responsible for promoting the protection and advancement of our population’s physical and mental well-being. PHS agencies coordinate and implement national health policy on the state and local level, conduct medical research, and ensure the safety of drugs, food and cosmetics. Its agencies include the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health. As much as 70% of some state’s public health services are funded by PHS grants, including those for emergency preparedness, immunizations, laboratory services, epidemiology, disease surveillance and health promotion.

However, due to the 2008 Recession and state and federal budget cuts, we’ve lost at least 50,000 public health employees in the last several years. These cuts have also produced tens of billions of dollars in annual shortfalls of critical public health services including local vaccination programs, health department infrastructure maintenance, chronic disease programs, research projects and testing for outbreaks of food-borne illness. We can now add pandemic preparedness to this long list of shortsightedness. Some claim the COVIDD-19 debacle was partly a result of poor personnel training and unpracticed hospital procedures due, in part, to PHS budget cuts. Advocates also say robust funding of medical research, much of which is performed by the National Institutes of Health, can save many lives. However, Congress views this research as a discretionary expense, the funding of which is often sporadic and at the mercy of Congressional budget battles.

Proposed Legislation: H.R.777 - Permanent Investment in Health Research Act of 2015 (114th Congress 2015-2016)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Kathy Castor (FL)












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Poll Opening Date
November 22, 2021
Poll Closing Date
November 28, 2021


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