Despite the fact that the United States spends more on health care than any other nation in the world, only 3 cents of each health care dollar goes to public health – even though it plays a far bigger role in keeping us healthy.
One of the big reasons that so little money is currently invested in public health is the recession. The recession didn’t just hit main street – state and local public health department budgets were hit especially hard during the recession, and while Wall Street has recovered, many health departments have not. Despite a history of being there when necessary, public health infrastructure continues to be marginalized and under funded.
Part of the problem? Public health goes largely unseen and unnoticed by the public, even though preventing disease may be more advantageous that treating people when they are already sick.