Preventive for various programs as it provides

Health and Health Services Block Grant- Funding Recommendations

The ‘Preventive Health and Health
Services Block Grant’ (PHHSBG) financially supports multiple existing programs,
and  implements new programs if needed to
aid in decreasing morbidity and mortality in fifty states, two Native American
tribes and eight United States territories. The PHHSBG targets preventable risk
factors, infectious diseases, chronic illnesses, providing clinical services,
promoting environmental health, raising health awareness among the public and much
more. Since its inception in 1981, the ‘Centers for Disease and Prevention’
(CDC) receives this grant from the United States government annually. This
block grant achieves its objective via implementation evidence based interventions,
constant monitoring and evaluation of the programs assisted, and focusing on
the preventable risk factors such as nutrition, tobacco smoking, diet and

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As of 2017,
the funding for PHHSBG is distributed among myriad of causes. The majority of
the funding is spent on health care infrastructure (~26%) and educational and
community based programs (~20%). The rest of the funding is divided among Nutrition,
injury prevention, immunization and various other health topics. The PHHSBG is
a crucial stepping stone for various programs as it provides the financial
footing to aid in evidence based
interventions and health outcome changes. With the help of PHHSBG funding, there
was 80% decrease in nosocomial infections in Hawaii by funding mandatory
infection tracking and the Santee Sioux tribal reservations were provided with emergency
services for the first time ever in the year 2012.

The funding is allocated annually in
accordance to the current administration’s budget plan. On
October 19th of 2017 the fiscal year budget under the current
White House administration was passed by the Senate with 51 percent majority voting
yes on the proposal. The new budget plan will be effective through September
30, 2018.  This plan completely
eliminates the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, and implements
a new block grant called the ‘America’s health’. According
to the White House budget blueprint, this grant of $500 million to the CDC increases
the state and local government’s flexibility on how the funds are utilized.
This new budget modification slashes about $1.53 billion (33%) from the CDC federal
funding according to the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These steep budget cuts has
been criticized the former director of CDC, Dr.
Tom Frieden, who calls it, “a really bad idea”. He also notes the block grants
have the tendency to be reduced periodically and the idea of more flexibility with
no proper structure leads to inefficiency. However, the current CDC director,
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, appointed by the current President has not publicly criticized
the new budget cuts as of yet.

As evidenced by the multitude of success
stories showcased by the CDC, the PHHSBG
played a vital part in addressing and bridging the gap in the public health world.
The grant allowed the states to strengthen and implement programs ethically. As
mentioned earlier, the objectives of PHHSBG helped address the disfranchised needs,
incorporate diversity in program planning, underwent constant program monitoring
and assessment to evaluate and make necessary changes if needed, implemented
and incorporated community data surveillance to study the trends and new
obstacles.  All of which are core
principle of Public Health Code of Ethics (Erwin, Page 69).  As noted by Erwin et al, the federal government
plays a key role in the Public Health policy legislation (Erwin, Page 91). As
evidenced by the federal budget plan, which was drafted by the Executive branch
and approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate, dictates how the
state and local government should manage the public health issues. Limited
funding restricts various aspects of public health, from funds to implement new
programs, maintain current programs, public health education, payment and training
of the staff, management of unpredictable disasters (epidemics, natural catastrophes)
and much more.

The program still has a chance of
viability. The other sources of support may be include but not limited to the
support of the ‘Elites’, having an ‘identifiable victim’, public outcry, and
extended media coverage. The Elites are those with social and political weightage
that gives them more visibility and a stronger voice in the public (Erwin, Page
81). The passing of the budget was unanimously opposed by the Democratic
Senators. This can be used as an opportunity by the Democratic party to rile up
its supporters, spread the information regarding the need and use of the
PHHSBG, thus is turn expanding the public knowledge. Having one identifiable victim
maybe hard, as the PHHSBG covers multiple programs. However, having a celebrity
voice their opposition can also help in the dissemination of the information.
Finally, with the increased usage of social media, and information being accessed
in lightning speed, the media has the power of reaching millions (Erwin, Page
82). This new wave of political podcasts, such as ‘Pod save America”, utilize
humor and the use of simple English to inform the public of the government
issues. The local government agencies can collaborate with smaller local
programs to expand funding and spread of the information.