Health Care

White House proposes more money to fight outbreaks

The White House is proposing to increase funding to fight disease and prepare for outbreaks in the wake of the historic, ongoing Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

In its proposed 2016 budget, the Obama administration announced additional funds for domestic preparedness to “more effectively and efficiently respond to potential, future outbreaks here at home.”

{mosads}A total of $110 millions would support emergency staffing, hospital and containment facilities, laboratory equipment and other means of fighting unexpected public health emergencies.

The fiscal outline also continues funding for the Global Health Security Agenda, a global initiative launched last February to fight infectious disease threats.

“The Ebola epidemic in West Africa underscores the need to urgently strengthen global health security in countries around the world that are not equipped to handle Ebola,” the document stated.

“In addition, recent and ongoing outbreaks of Plague, Marburg, Lassa fever, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and avian influenza clearly demonstrate the need to immediately address global vulnerabilities.”

The Obama administration was caught off guard last year by widespread panic over a handful of Ebola cases in the United States.

Since then, the epidemic has started to die down in West Africa, and only a few additional Ebola victims have been treated in the United States. 

The budget also increases funding to eradicate polio, support vaccination and fight HIV/AIDS.

In total, Obama’s budget blueprint would spend nearly $4 trillion, exceeding the spending limits introduced under the 2011 budget deal. Officials estimate the budget would cut deficits by $1.8 trillion over the next 10 years.

Read more about the proposal — which includes tax increases on the wealthy and increased spending on infrastructure — here.


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