Funding for public health departments accounts for less than 3 percent of the total health budget in the United States. Since the Great Recession in the late 2000s, health departments have been hit hard with budget cuts and are grappling with how to respond to COVID-19 and other health threats. Most departments are reliant on several funding streams from the federal government, with most of that money focused on specific health outcomes. One-quarter of all funding for local departments comes from Medicaid and service fees, while one percent comes from private foundations.
CDC’s Prevention and Population Health Mission
The CDC is charged with improving the health of people and populations around the world. The organization promotes healthy lifestyles and disease prevention, detects infectious diseases, and responds to outbreaks. The goal of public health is to protect the health of entire populations
– from a small neighborhood to a large country. Through prevention, public health is the science of saving lives. But the CDC isn’t free of politics. The agency is still funded by Congress but it is independent from political pressure.
State and local public health departments
While state and local public health departments may vary in size and scope, …