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Health Aff (Millwood). 2002 Nov-Dec;21(6):117-30.

Public health and national security: the critical role of increased federal support.

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Subcommittee on Public Health of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, United States Senate, USA.


Protecting the public's health historically has been a state and local responsibility. However, the growing threat of bioterrorism has highlighted the importance of a strong public health infrastructure to the nation's homeland security and has focused increased attention on the preparedness of the public health system. As a result, federal public health funding has increased exponentially since the anthrax attacks of late 2001, and Congress has passed sweeping new federal legislation intended to strengthen the nation's public health system. This heightened level of federal interest and support should yield important public health benefits. Most recognize that after years of neglect the public health infrastructure cannot be rebuilt overnight. As we implement a comprehensive strategy to increase the capabilities and capacity of our nation's public health system, it is essential to address a series of important policy questions, including the appropriate level of ongoing public health investments from local, state, and federal sources.

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